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Weekend Rumblings - News for March 11, 2017

Yost on roles and domes.

MLB: Spring Training-Kansas City Royals at San Francisco Giants Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Weekend Rumblings - News for March 11, 2017

Ned Yost talks about bullpen roles.

The postseason moves opened eyes, but they probably didn’t change hearts, Yost said. In the opening weeks of spring training, he remained noncommittal about the makeup the Royals’ revamped bullpen, a unit that must replace All-Star closer Wade Davis. But a clear framework emerged. Kelvin Herrera, a two-time All-Star, will take over closer duties, while left-hander Matt Strahm and Joakim Soria are locks to make the club. Left-hander Mike Minor is well positioned to join them, while two of the final bullpen slots will be filled by the odd-men out in the club’s competition for the fifth starter spot — a battle among Nathan Karns, Travis Wood and Chris Young. That leaves one opening in a seven-man bullpen.

The reconfigured group, with no clear seventh- or eighth-inning pitchers, could mean more mixing and matching in the late innings. But adhering to orthodox, Yost would prefer if the group winds up with clear roles.

“It’s a lot easier when you have set, defined roles,” Yost said. “Because everybody understands what their role is, instead of guessing from day to day.”

Rustin Dodd talks about the World Baseball Classic, his favorite album of the year, and some Royals baseball.

Barring injury, I still think the most likely scenario is this: Whit Merrifield, Christian Colon and Cheslor Cuthbert will all be on the roster when the season begins. All could see some time at the position. The club will continue to evaluate.

Colon and Cuthbert are out of options, and the Royals prefer to keep inventory high. Merrifield’s versatility is difficult to keep off the roster. If that’s the case, the Royals’ four-man bench would be Paulo Orlando, Drew Butera and the two guys that are not starting at second base — even if the "starter" isn’t really playing every day. Does that make sense?

Paulo Orlando is not upset about losing a starting spot.

Still, after last season, thoughts of starting must have danced through Orlando's head, right?

"Sometimes you think about that," Orlando said. "But then again, you have to wait for your opportunity. Your opportunity will come, and you have to be ready. I'll do my best. It's nothing different than last year.

"Last year, a couple guys got hurt and I got in. I [platooned] with [Jarrod] Dyson, got at-bats that way. We'll see what happens this year. First, I have to make the roster."

David Lesky at Baseball Propsectus Kansas City wonders what it means that Alex Gordon playing some centerfield today.

One, I think it really signals that Billy Burns is an afterthought to this roster because they don’t need a third center fielder behind Lorenzo Cain and Paulo Orlando. Two, I wonder if the Royals are thinking ahead to a potential situation where maybe they’re playing in Baltimore or something where there isn’t as much ground to cover and the Royals want to give Cain a half day off but they don’t want to play Orlando for whatever reason. Well, Gordon can shift to center with Brandon Moss in one corner and Jorge Soler in another. I don’t know. I’m just thinking out loud here, but it’s at least something to pay attention to because it’s interesting for sure.

Bubba Starling and Cam Gallagher are buddies.

Lee Judge on what scouts can see that others miss.

USA defeats Colombia in extra innings in the World Baseball Classic.

The baseball teams with the most dead money on the books.

Who are the early National League Rookie of the Year contenders?

The Cardinals and Pirates will play a regular season game in Williamsport just for Little League families.

Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis has to get chemotherapy.

The Yankees have Clint Frazier cut his hair.

A woman is arrested for stalking Tim Tebow.

Court filings allege the NFL violated federal laws in handling painkillers.

What its like to be a college mascot during March Madness.

The SEC hands Bitcoin a setback.

Would you go to a movie theater that had a playground?

How Buffy the Vampire Slayer redefined TV storytelling.

Your song of the day is Arthuro Sandoval with Joy Spring.