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Royals Rumblings - News for March 28, 2017

Champagne dreams and caviar wishes

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

The Royals hung dong four times in a rout of the A’s.

Baseball Prospectus KC’s Craig Brown attempts to work the roster math out for the Royals as Opening Day approaches.

There is absolutely no reason to read anything into spring training stats. They’re only included here because the Royals have mentioned that spring performance will be one factor they weigh when determining the winner of this amazing competition.

If spring stats were the only consideration, Mondesi would be dropping a deposit on a seven month lease in Kansas City. The power potential we’ve heard about for years seems so tantalizingly close. Except this is Arizona and the ball tends to fly through the thin desert air. Again, not to read too much into the small sample and spring competition, but it should be noted that Mondesi has just a single walk against 12 whiffs.

With the Royals talking up “inventory” and with Christian Colon and Cheslor Cuthbert out of options, it’s probable they head north with the team, despite coming in third and fourth statistically out of a four-man competition. If either player was exposed to waivers, they would almost certainly be claimed given their salary status and major league experience. If the Royals look to trade either, it seems unlikely the return would be commiserate with how the club values either. It would be better than losing someone to waivers, but it’s difficult to imagine a trade of either would net a player who could impact the major league roster in a meaningful way.

Jeffrey Flanagan looks at what might happen to the Royals at the deadline:

Moustakas: Even though the Royals have a suitable backup in Cheslor Cuthbert, Moustakas was a key element to the 2014 and '15 World Series trips. A more vocal leader than Hosmer, Moustakas, as one Royals coach said recently, "simply wants to win more than your guy. You can't put a sabermetric value on that." Solid chance the Royals find a way to keep him.

Cain: This one is a little more difficult to analyze. He is the engine that often makes the Royals go, and his value was obvious last season when he had to miss the final five weeks because of a hand/wrist injury and the Royals subsequently faded from contention. But he'll be 31 in April with a long history of injuries, thus a tough sell to commit long-term.

NBC Sports’ Craig Calcaterra previews the Royals in 2017, concluding:

The contending, however, is largely in the hands of the offense and the non-Duffy parts of the rotation. There was a lot that went wrong with all of that last season and a lot of change to all of that this offseason. It makes the Royals one of the hardest teams to predict in the American League. The Royals won in 2015 without having the best rotation in the world, so if the lineup is totally healthy and snaps back into form the Royals could be back in business. But the bullpen won’t save their bacon enough to make them a truly strong pennant contender, I don’t think, even if it should make them better than the .500 team they were last year.

A lot went wrong last year, though, and it’s a lot to ask all of it to go right. If it’s just some — the smart bet — the Royals will be good, but not great. And I think that adds up to them falling just short of the Tigers with both teams miles behind Cleveland.

Peter Moylan looks likely to make the Royals’ bullpen.

Jorge Soler might start the season on the disabled list.

Framing cause célèbre Ryan Hanigan is available.

The Rangers inked the unusual Rougned Odor to a sizable extension.

BP’s Meg Rowley and Patrick Dubuque wax semi-ecstatic about two-way Bethancourt.

At the Hardball Times, Ryan Pollack wonders if the Astros’ starters were too similar at the start of 2016.

These five injuries loom large to start the season.

Gonzaga channeled its inner Ivan Drago to get to the Final Four.

The Tasmanian tiger may not be extinct after all.

Season Three of True Detective is about to get all Milched up.

The song of the day is “False Prophets” by J. Cole.