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Royals Rumblings - News for September 15, 2016

The Royals are still champions.

Oakland Athletics  v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for September 15, 2016

Ned Yost admits the bullpen has not been as good as it was last year.

“In the past, we’ve had a really, really good idea with what we’re going to get coming out of the bullpen,” Yost said. “(We had) a really good idea. Last year, we knew what we were gonna get with (Greg Holland), we knew what we were gonna get with Wade (Davis), we knew what we were gonna get with (Kelvin) Herrera, and we’re in a situation now, through injuries, we’re not the same bullpen we were last year.”

He also says it wasn’t the “doubles defense” that hurt Soria on Tuesday night.

"The defense was exactly where it was supposed to be," Yost said Wednesday. "We don't play 'no doubles' in that situation. We never will…

"We're not playing 'no doubles' with the tying run on second. We got three strong-armed outfielders out there with the tying run on second. You have nine times a ball will get hit in front of [the outfielders] and just one time it will get hit over their head."

Jesse Newell of the Star shows just how much Joakim Soria has hurt the Royals this year.

In Royals’ history, Soria is seventh-worst among 480 relief pitchers.

The numbers also show Soria is not being used like other un-clutch relievers. “Average leverage index” or gmLI, lets us know how pressure-packed a situation is when a pitcher enters the game, with anything above 1 being considered above average. Soria’s 1.44 average leverage index ranks 36th among 138 qualified relievers. Among the top 40, only four players have negative WPAs: Cory Gearrin (negative-0.28), Steve Cishek (negative-0.31), Erasmo Ramirez (negative-0.84) and Soria (negative-2.10).

What does it mean? For this season at least, no other manager has put as poor of a reliever as Soria in as many clutch situations as Yost.

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City writes that it was Soria’s slider that sabotaged his season.

In his career, the slider has been a strikeout weapon for him. Prior to this season, 18.9 percent of his strikeouts against right-handed bats came using that slider. This season? Just 7.3 percent of his strikeouts of righties have come using the slider. It simply isn’t performing for him.

What is going on with this dog and baby at the Royals game?

The Yankees sign former Royals designated hitter Billy Butler.

The Blue Jays hire former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington.

The seven best road trips for the 2017 MLB schedule.

The six best managers of 2016.

What is Toronto’s window of contention?

The case for Corey Seager as National League MVP.

Former MLB manager Tony LaRussa gives his thoughts on race relations.

The physics of ballpark statues.

Major League Baseball is producing a television show aimed at a younger generation.

North Carolina loses a bunch of NCAA events due to state laws on gay and transgender people.

Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky had to decline a waffle maker from Ellen Degeneres because NCAA rules are stupid.

New York City ends web browsing at kiosks due to public lewdness.

American dairy farmers think almond milk is bogus, despite its popularity.

Rob Lowe joins the cast of Super Troopers 2.

Your song of the day is The Smiths with I Know Its Over.