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Royals Rumblings - News for March 29, 2017

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MLB: Kansas City Royals-Media Day Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for March 29, 2017

Sam Mellinger was surprised Raúl Mondesí made the club.

I’m not surprised by a lot of personnel decisions the Royals make, but this one surprised me.

I know Mondesi has had a good spring, and he might be the best defender they have in the group. But he was so overmatched at the plate last year, and he’s still just 21, and letting him hit a little in Omaha could give him some confidence and provide the added benefit of potentially pushing his free agency back a year.

When spring training started, some within the organization viewed including Mondesi in the second base competition as a sort of courtesy. Put him in there, wait for him to fail, then boost his confidence in the minor leagues.

That never happened, because Mondesi has been good from the ump, but with others capable of holding the position down — it’s not like the Royals have to rely on him, especially early — I thought the job would go to someone else.

The Royals are still deciding who will take the last roster spot - Christian Colón or Whit Merrifield.

“Everybody wants to break with the team,” Yost said. “But our plan going into this is to make adjustments whenever we need them. And it won’t be long.

“(Let’s) say if we option Whit out; probably the first time we need 13 pitchers, here comes Whit. Because we’re one man short on the bench and we need that versatility. I’m not saying one way or the other how this is going to end up, because quite frankly, we don’t know yet.”

Scouts give their opinions on each team.

Eric Hosmer is MVP caliber, a Triple Crown candidate. Last year, with all the club's injuries, he was trying to carry them, hit three home runs with one swing. His average could jump 65 points.... Lorenzo Cain is still underrated. They're a different team with him in center, and he gets the clutch hit, hits a ball out, hits for average, steals a base.... Alex Gordon looks fine as far as bat speed and in the outfield, but you want someone with a little more power in the corners.... Jorge Soler can be a bit frustrating—not real selective at the plate, takes plays off in the outfield, doesn't always run—but he's got plus-plus raw power to all fields. I could see 25, 30 homers....

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looks at how good the Royals could be.

If you buy the power outbreak from Hosmer last year, the Royals have five guys in the first six spots who can and probably should hit 20 home runs. They also have four guys in the first six spots who can and probably should post a walk rate better than league average, and that should lead to maybe the best OBP we’ve seen from this team in quite some time. Guys who get on base and guys with power is a pretty good recipe for an offense, and I think the power is real.

The Royals are projected to have the third-worst bullpen, according to Fangraphs.

Whoa. What happened here? Remember when the Royals revolutionized baseball with multiple shutdown relievers, shortening the game and making up for a mediocre rotation? It wasn’t that long ago: they’re just 18 months removed from a World Series title. Wade Davis, one of the very best relievers in baseball over the last three seasons, is now employed by the Cubs after having been traded for Jorge Soler. Kelvin Herrera is taking over the mantle as top reliever, but there isn’t much after him.

Gabe Lacques at USA Today thinks Danny Duffy will win the Cy Young Award.

They also project the Royals to have the third-best outfield defense.

Fox Sports looks at some Royals players looking to bounce back from last year.

Danny Duffy campaigns on a ballot initiative for the KC Pet Project facility.

DaveO at the Clubhouse Conversation podcast has his Royals preview up.

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