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Weekend Rumblings - News for April 1, 2017

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That thing you think is false is actually true today!

Kansas City Royals Photo Day Photo by Rob Tringali/ Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for April 1, 2017

The loss of Yordano Ventura was a wake up call for Raúl Mondesí.

“The bottom line is Raul Mondesi made us change our minds,” Moore said. “It’s as simple as that. He gives us the best chance to win in Minnesota (on opening day). And that’s the way we’ve always looked at it.”

For Mondesi, the transformation began on the field. Yet it did not end there. He’s more comfortable in the clubhouse now, he says, more confident and self-assured. After an offseason of grief and pain and wondering why, he does not want to take baseball for granted.

“We’ve seen more of a sense of urgency in all aspects of his life,” Moore says. “I think it hit him very hard and it affected him in a very deep way. He came into spring training early. He’s more focused.”

Lorenzo Cain focused on conditioning this off-season.

“Just building strength,” Cain said. “Just making sure my legs are ready for 162 games.”

For Cain, the emphasis on his health could be critical as he prepares to reach free-agency following the 2017 season. In the last four seasons, he has won MVP honors in the American League Championship Series, made an All-Star team and served as the No. 3 hitter for a world champion — all while playing premium defense in center field. The one knock: He has played in an average of just 122 games per season during the stretch.

“I haven’t done a great job of being on the field every year,” Cain said. “I don’t really set goals. But my main goal is to stay healthy throughout the year. I just try to let everything else take care of itself.”

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City considers the roster logjam on the 40-man roster.

My vote would go toward jettisoning Billy Burns off the 40-man either by a DFA or a trade. My reasoning is that Burns is causing a roster crunch at Omaha. If the Royals were to remove him from the 40-man, that would allow them to play Hunter Dozier, Jorge Bonifacio, Bubba Starling, Peter O’Brien and Whit Merrifield in the same lineup. All need regular playing time. You could absolutely convince me to DFA Starling instead of Burns, but there’s still at least elite tools with him that could be useful in September. With Burns on the roster, Dozier likely has to play third which leaves no place for Merrifield, and I’ve mentioned my preference is to keep both Merrifield and Colon.

Travis Wood loves the clubhouse chemistry with the Royals.

The Tigers return pitcher Daniel Stumpf to the Royals, but as a second-time Rule 5 pick, he can elect free agency.

Five Statcast storylines about the Royals in 2017.

Royals prospect Khalil Lee has added strength and power. (h/t Joe M.)

Lee Judge reflects on a spring training without drama.

An ESPN pundit picked Eric Hosmer to win MVP.

Ranking the 15 Opening Day matchups.

Fangraphs staff predictions.

Drew Smyly is out 6-8 weeks for the Mariners.

The Yadier Molina contract is about perceptions with the Cardinals.

Buster Olney think Commissioner Rob Manfred should build a relationship with the players.

RIP Ruben Amaro, Sr.

Mark Cuban says analytics is overrated, because artificial intelligence is the next big thing in sports.

Wichita State is in serious talks to join the American Athletic Conference.

How fast food cornered the urban market.

Google Maps unveiled Ms. Pac Man on the app for April Fool’s Day.

Spaghetti donuts are a thing now.

Your song of the day is Joe Henderson with Night and Day.