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Royals Rumblings - News for January 12, 2017

Rusty Kuntz will fix Soler

World Series - Cleveland Indians v Chicago Cubs - Game Three Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Jeffrey Flanagan reports that Rusty Kuntz thinks he can improve Jorge Soler’s outfield defense:

"It's pretty much the same thing I did with Alex Rios," Kuntz told "Get there a couple of weeks early and just do some individual drills. It's easier to manage your time before everyone starts showing up."

[ . . . ]

"We know the scouting reports on him," Kuntz said. "But he's an athletic guy and when you have that, you have something to work with. His hands and feet work just fine, so you start with that.

"He's just a very big person [6-foot-4, 225 pounds]. He's built like a tight end. He'll be my new best friend. My bodyguard."

BP’s Bryan Grosnick weighs in on the Karns / Dyson deal from the Royals perspective:

Before this deal, the Royals were dangerously shallow in their rotation and pleasantly full in their outfield. Now? Billy Burns may take on Dyson’s role as the team’s outfield defensive specialist and running expert—without too much of a drop-off, I might add—and the team still has the surprisingly adequate Paulo Orlando holstered. This isn’t a particularly flashy move, but it will hopefully patch a hole for the upcoming season and beyond.Most critically, the bill is about to come due on this team’s 2014 and 2015 successes. Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Danny Duffy will all hit free agency after this season. The Royals cannot afford to pay all of those players to return and whether they’d even want to is a bit of an open question. When you pair that with their overall starting pitching talent—I’d go ahead and use the word “yuck” as a shorthand—one can certainly see why Dayton Moore and company would seek out a team-controlled, reasonably-priced starting pitcher with a little upside. Dyson’s a fine player with skills tailored to the Royals’ gameplan, but this is the kind of move Kansas City needs to make to remain even close to viable during the eventual rebuilding years to come. That World Series banner sure was worth the cost, though!

At BP KC, David Lesky thinks the Royals need just a little patience:

Soler walked at an 11.7 percent clip (9.0 percent for his career), but also was able to lay off pitches. He wasn’t as good at it as Dyson, but only swung at bad pitches 28.1 percent of the time. I think the fact that Soler doesn’t make contact on those pitches as much as Dyson is actually a good thing for the future as making contact on pitches outside the strike zone leads to outs more often than making contact on pitches in the strike zone. And if things go well, Soler will get more playing time than Dyson would have, so the Royals patience will increase there.

As it stands right now, Moustakas will essentially replace Kendrys Morales in the lineup because it appears Cuthbert will be in the DH role quite often, shifting from third. Morales displayed perfectly acceptable patience, walking 7.8 percent of the time and swinging at 34.1 percent of pitches outside the zone. That’s a bit below average, but not significantly so. Moose, on the other hand, showed remarkable growth in his limited time before injury. His walk rate was basically where Morales sat (8.0 percent), but he showed marked improvement in his ability to lay off pitches outside the strike zone, swinging at just 26.5 percent. That’s a net improvement on the lineup.

The Cartoonist writes about Nate Karns. Read it if you must.

Jeff Zimmerman takes a brief look at both groundball pitchers and using StatCast for xISO and xHR/FB%.

Russell Carleton looks into whether there is a grounder grind.

Vladimir Guerrero and bad balls.

Jose Fernandez’s greatest game broken down at The Hardball Times by Evan Davis.

Pablo Sandoval’s lost a lot of weight.

Can The Rock save the DC cinematic universe?

The A.V. Club lets you in on their most anticipated TV shows of 2017.

A big threat could be knocking at your door.

The song of the day is “Patience” by Guns N’ Roses.