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Royals Rumblings - News for March 17, 2017

Kiss me, I’m Royal.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for March 17, 2017

Ned comments on the possibility of Raúl Mondesí making the team.

"It's going to be a tough decision," Yost said. "He's played great. He's definitely inserted himself into that conversation. We like him for a lot of reasons."...

"From the first day of Spring Training, he's been a different guy, emotionally and mentally," Yost said. "He's much more mature, he's much more engaging, he's much more confident than he ever was at any point of the season last year."

Matt Strahm credits a mouthguard for his performance.

For Strahm, a left-handed reliever, the mouthguard is not a piece of unnecessary flare. He began wearing it last season after the muscles in his neck kept tightening up after pitching appearances. The tip came from teammate and left-handed pitcher Mike Minor, who had seen his former teammates from Vanderbilt, including Boston’s David Price, use a mouthguard on the mound.

“I grind my teeth a lot,” Strahm says. “And so the theory behind it is that it takes tension off your neck by placing your jaw in the right position.”

This spring, Strahm bestowed the benefits of the mouthguard on teammate Kyle Zimmer, and a mini movement was formed. Zimmer, who was re-assigned to minor-league camp in early March, began wearing one during outings, too.

“I’m not sure how much it does,” Zimmer says. “But it’s definitely feeling like it’s keeping me sort of looser.”

Tony Blengino at Fangraphs looks at the Central Division using balls in play data.

Next up: the Royals, the “darlings” of most projection systems. The club’s projected performance on BIP alone actually got worse in 2016, as their offense paddled the ball as weakly as ever, while thunder-allower Ian Kennedy was added to the rotation. Their projected SLG, both for and against, was over a full STD worse than league average, keying a projected 73-89 record on BIP alone.

Adding back the Ks and BBs doesn’t help the Royals’ cause. Drawing and issuing walks were both major issues, as the club finished over a full STD worse than AL average in both categories. This lops two more games off of the Royals’ projection, down to 71-91.

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City is already looking at starting pitching trade targets this summer.

Clay Buchholz - He posted a 1.74 ERA in 16 starts in 2013. Then he posted a 5.26 ERA in 2014. Then he put up a 3.26 ERA in 2015. And last year, that rose again to 4.78. You have no idea what you’re getting year to year in Buchholz, but at his best, he’s very, very good. Given his inconsistency and lack of control, I’d bet he’s not exactly expensive.

Want to put down a wager in Vegas?

Paulo Orlando names his son after Derek Jeter.

CBS Sports has their season preview of the Royals.

Bradford Doolittle lists the player each team wants up with the game on the line.

Max Scherzer won’t be ready for Opening Day.

How to fix the World Baseball Classic.

Measuring the quality of a pitch.

An investigation finds that Jose Fernandez was to blame for his fatal accident that killed himself and two others.

Is Mike Trout a “veteran”?

Who is the second-best pitcher in baseball?

Seattle Mariners commercials are always a delight.

Smart kids at Vanderbilt forget the game situation in their loss to Northwestern.

Dontari Poe leaves the Chiefs for the Falcons.

Some corpses are mysteriously heating up after death.

For the first time, Saturday Night Live will air live across the country in an upcoming episode.

You will want to stay in the official Guinness Airbnb.

Your song of the day is Flogging Molly with If I Ever Leave this World Alive.