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Weekend Rumblings - News for April 15, 2017

Have a SAFE weekend.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Weekend Rumblings - News for April 15, 2017

Sam Mellinger writes about the tension between going through growing pains with Raul Mondesi and the urgency of winning now.

So Mondesi may very well be a star, someday, but the 2017 Royals don’t have a lot of time — even this early in the season. They showed that by demoting Matt Strahm seven games in. To be clear, this is not to make a direct comparison. Strahm was broken mentally, while Mondesi can find ways to help even while going 0 for 4.

But at some point, Mondesi is going to have to hit, and to cut down on the occasional missed play defensively. The franchise Moore took over could and often did give seemingly unending chances to talented prospects.

The franchise he has built doesn’t have time for that.

“I think he gives us the best chance to win right now — I do,” Moore said. “For what we’re trying to do right now, what we expect to be. The more opportunity we can get him up here, the better.”

Brandon Moss is frank about his early struggles.

“It’s a game of results. I couldn’t care less if I break my back and bloop one over somebody’s head. A hit is a hit is a hit. Especially with guys on base.”

On Friday, Moss said his early problems had been catalyzed chasing too many pitches “underneath the zone”, which has led to more swings and misses. When he sees the ball up, he said, that is generally a sign that he is going well.

“I have made them throw strikes, even with their off-speed pitches,” Moss said. “The problem is I’ve missed pitches in the zone. When they’ll hang a changeup or they hang a slider, I’ve either taken the slider or I’ve swung through the changeup.”

Kelvin Herrera’s slider is struggling, but he won’t abandon it.

"It was a new pitch last year," Herrera said. "Maybe hitters are expecting it now."

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City marvels at Jason Vargas.

His changeup has been an absolute monster in his first two starts, which is both a great thing and a reason to at least be cautiously optimistic with him. When that pitch is on, there’s no team he can’t shut down. The issue with Vargas is the stuff outside of the changeup isn’t very good, so if the change isn’t on that night, he might have some troubles. Still, he’s the fourth starter in this rotation and if he can give you starts like he did against Oakland, that’s a very good thing. It’s easy to overlook this, but Vargas has been really good for the Royals throughout his entire tenure with the team. He was every bit as good as James Shields and Yordano Ventura in the first half of 2014 and even was successful in his limited outings in 2015 before the elbow injury. I may have been too quick to overlook him when thinking about this rotation before the season.

Danny Duffy warms up to I’ll Be Missing You as tribute to Yordano Ventura.

A look back at how Jackie Robinson broke the racial barrier.

Umpire Dale Scott leaves a game after getting struck in the mask.

A look behind the scenes of the new Braves park.

Josh Donaldson lands on the disabled list.

Hanley Ramirez does not really want to play first base.

Why are the Cardinals putting Matt Adams in the outfield?

Jose Reyes led a “double life” says his ex-mistress.

How a former NFL player’s donated heart ended up in Rod Carew.

Tim Howard is suspended for three games for interactions with fans that included physical contact with a Sporting Kansas City fan.

Phil Jackson wants to get rid of Carmelo Anthony.

Can a difficult childhood enhance cognition?

Justin Trudeau introduces a bill to legalize marijuana in Canada.

The best photoshops of the new Star Wars movie poster.

Your song of the day is Art Pepper with You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To.