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Royals Rumblings - News for January 5, 2017

Pittsburgh Pirates v St. Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Jeffrey Flanagan wonders whether Jonathan Sanchez will be the Royals’ latest reclamation project:

Enter Gene Watson, the Royals' director of professional scouting, who happened to watch Sanchez throw last fall for Mayaguez of the Roberto Clemente Baseball League in Puerto Rico.

In nine starts for Mayaguez, Sanchez still struggled with his command, walking 19 in 36 innings. But his fastball was electric as he struck out 39. He went 5-2 with a 2.75 ERA.

"He was hitting 92-95 [mph]," Moore said. "You get that from the left side, it catches your eye."

BP KC’s David Lesky looks at the post-WS hangover teams the year after the year after:

There are some trends, though. Of the 21 World Series winning teams since the Wild Card was implemented, 18 of them saw their winning percentage drop the next season. I use that distinction because the Braves won more games in 1996 than in 1995, but they played more games too because of the stupid strike. But I digress.

Now here’s where it gets tricky. Just five of the other 20 teams were in the same situation as the Royals, losing at least 10 games more than the previous season. That’s sort of rarified air. Most champions stay fairly competitive. And two of those four were kind of exceptions to the rule. One was the Marlins and one was the Yankees, who won 114 games in 1998 but couldn’t possibly match that. They still won 98 games in 1999 but that was significantly worse than their historic season.

But now here’s the meat. 14 of the remaining 20 teams improved on their year after record, including the last seven World Series champions who we have data on for these purposes. Two teams posted an identical record the year after the year after while four teams got worse.

The inimitable Russell Carleton explores employing the bullpen optimized for leverage and its limitations.

FanGraphs’ Nathaniel Grow looks at how Mike Trout could legally become a free agent before his contract extension is up.

Why is Mark Trumbo still a free agent? Craig Edwards thinks he knows why.

The Hardball Times’ Nathaniel Rakich attempts to unskew the polls in the Hall-of-Fame voting.

John Sickels released his preliminary Top 20 for 2017 for the Chicago White Sox farm system. Not surprisingly, their farm system looks pretty scary now.

Reza Aslan suggests that Americans need a Muslim Modern Family / Will & Grace to dispel some of the Islamophobia coursing through America’s veins.

Still using Netflix to rent DVDs? Well, their new app is for you.

WGA nominations are out, and Deadpool found itself amongst the nominees.

How have Nate Parker and Casey Affleck been treated differently this year despite their similarly checkered pasts?

One of the prosecuting attorneys in his case has written to President Obama to ask for clemency in Leonard Peltier’s case.

A look at Budapest’s Castle Hill Funicular.

The song of the day is “Exit 353” by Damien Jurado: