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Royals Rumblings - News for March 1, 2017

This is March.

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Texas Rangers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for March 1, 2017

Bob Nightengale at USA Today writes that the Royals know they have to win this year.

Lose and fall out of contention by midsummer, and the Royals will have no choice but to break up the team and sell off parts until it’s no longer recognizable.

“It’s important we get off to a good start, and our players understand that,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore tells USA TODAY Sports. “They understand the importance of playing with one another, playing with innocence and not getting caught up where they will be next year.

“If it becomes more from the business side and less from the heart, then we will have to evaluate some things. We have to live in the moment, and as Yordano Venturareminded us, tomorrow isn’t promised to us anyways.”

Terrance Gore wants to prove he can be more than just a gimmick.

Gore says his new stance is more upright. He ditched an extreme crouch in the process. For now, it feels more athletic, he said.

“It’s finally paying off,” Gore said. “My (batting practice) has been really good. None of the hitting coaches have said nothing to me. But I think deep down they know (it’s been) kind of impressive. There were a couple of guys thinking I’m on steroids … like, ‘Where’d you get this from?’ I said: ‘It’s daddy strength.’ ”

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City thinks the Royals are better-equipped to handle injuries this year.

That flexibility will be incredibly important, and I think the Royals roster has reached a point where they have the flexibility they do desire. Brandon Moss can play first and both corner outfield spots. There are some days off for Gordon, Soler and Eric Hosmer. And yes, Hosmer could probably use some more rest as well. Whit Merrifield can handle second, third and all three outfield positions. Truthfully, he can probably hold his own at first and stand at shortstop for a few innings if needed too. Christian Colon can play second, third and shortstop. And hey, Cheslor Cuthbert was in the lineup as a second baseman for yesterday’s game. I still have huge doubts that he can handle that position enough to play it regularly, but maybe you can stick him there with a fly ball pitcher on the mound just to get a little extra pop in the lineup.

Second base for the Royals is one of the weakest positions in baseball, according to ESPN’s David Schoenfield.

Royals at 2B since 2007 (minus-8.4 WAA): The last time the Royals rated above average at second base was 2008, the last year of Mark Grudzielanek's three-year tenure. Outside of his solid play, however, the Royals have struggled to find a second baseman since Frank White retired in 1990. What, you've already forgotten Chris Getz? Ruben Gotay? Carlos Febles? Terry Shumpert?

This crew is unlikely to end the run of subpar seasons. Merrifield had some moments as a 27-year-old rookie, but his final line was a meager .716 OPS. Mondesi has been a highly rated prospect, and while he's still just 21 and has been rushed through the minors, there are no signs he can hit at the major league level. Colon was the fourth overall pick in 2010, and while he'll forever live on in Royals lore for his go-ahead hit in the clinching game of the 2015 World Series, he's a backup at best.

DaveO at Clubhouse Conversation has a podcast about Joe Gordon, the first manager of the Royals, complete with interviews of people that knew him.

Former Royals reliever Joe Blanton signs with the Nationals.

The best free agent bargains of the off-season.

Baseball is looking for a stickier ball to avoid foreign substances.

A look at why sluggers had such a slow market last winter.

Why are baseball players so apolitical?

Petco Park in San Diego is underwater.

Are we at the high-water mark for defensive shifting?

Busy day for the Chiefs as they ink Eric Berry to a big new deal, and cut Jamaal Charles.

As expected the new Vikings stadium is killing a lot of birds.

How volcanoes make the world more livable.

Amazon Web Services broke the internet yesterday.

Google and Youtube will challenge cable with a lineup of channels.

Your song of the day is Milky Chance with Flashed Junked Mind.