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Royals Rumblings - News for April 21, 2017

Brother, can you spare a run?

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Kansas City Royals v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for April 21, 2017

The Royals may have a roster decision to make if they recall Matt Strahm soon.

“He’s been better,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “The reports are good.”

Strahm’s return to the Kansas City bullpen appears imminent. It’s unclear whether that will be on Friday or possibly later in the road trip.

Sam Mellinger marvels at the performance of Jason Vargas.

Vargas does not offer good clues about what’s happening. Rehab went well. No setbacks. Some guys — and Duffy was one — say it takes a while to get the feel of the ball back. Some struggle with recovery soreness, some can’t get past the fear of another tear.

Vargas didn’t deal with any of that, which puts him ahead of most patients, but still does not fully account for all of this....

“I think he’s better now (than before the surgery),” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “I think his command’s better. I think his elbow bothered him a little bit that last year. Command on fastball is the same, but the command and action on his pitches is just as sharp as sharp can be.”

Rustin Dodd breaks down the delayed steal that helped beat the Giants on Wednesday.

“It goes into spurts,” Kuntz said. “Delay steals go in spurts. Some teams are better at defending it.”

Kuntz remains somewhat secretive about his formula for deciding when a delayed steal might be a useful play. But the maneuver becomes an option when the pitcher has a quick time to home plate out of the stretch. In general terms, a time of 1.1 seconds to the plate is considered above average. In recent years, Kuntz says, pitchers have sought to neutralize the Royals’ running game. So the club has seen more opposing pitchers dropping into the 1.1s.

“If they have a 1.1 in the tank, they break it out,” Kuntz said. “So you got to get a little more creative on what you do and what you try to do.”

Lorenzo Cain is a more disciplined hitter, writes Michael Beller of Sports Illustrated.

It’s unlikely for any player to radically change his stripes at 31 years old, but if someone is going to do it, Cain would be the prototype. He may be 31, but this is just his fifth full season in the majors. Many players are no older than 26 or 27 when they’re in their fifth full season. Cain may be at the tail end of the general physical prime, but he’s at the height of his mental prime, in terms of how many reps he has received in the majors. As a result, we shouldn’t be surprised that he has made a change early on this season that is so dramatic and substantive, we can take it at close to face value, even though we have yet to turn the calendar to May.

Is Kyle Zimmer already broken?

Ozzie Smith says Alcides Escobar reminds him a lot of himself.

Eno Sarris at Fangraphs writes about coaching Rangers pitcher Matt Bush.

John Lackey implies Eric Thames is on PEDs.

Sam Miller at ESPN notices a few early trends in the 2017 baseball season.

Brad Ausmus admits the Tigers were confused by a fan yelling “I got it.”

The Astros mascot pranks Mike Trout.

World Series hero David Freese talks about his battle with depression.

Theater in the park? Try theater in a baseball park.

An Astros minor league team has Kris Kross Night.

The Chiefs 2017 schedule is out and they’ll be in prime time a lot.

Becca Longo becomes the first woman to earn a NCAA football scholarship.

The demise of Yahoo! is a bad sign for digital news organizations.

The light from a distant supernova was distorted by a passing galaxy, giving us some idea of how the universe is expanding.

The worst ways to die on FX’s Fargo.

Your song of the day is Go West with King of Wishful Thinking.