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Royals Rumblings- News for April 26, 2017

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Hello darkness my old friend....

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for April 26, 2017

In his mailbag, Sam Mellinger considers a contract extension for Mike Moustakas.

I asked around a bit about this during spring training. So, keeping in mind things could’ve changed since then, the feeling I got was that Moustakas wasn’t interested in talking about a long-term deal.

This could be for a lot of reasons. His value took a hit when his ACL tore* and he might see 2017 as his chance to get that back. Nobody wants to sign a long-term deal at a time when they might be negotiating from a disadvantage. The idea is of a long-term deal is to insure yourself against major injury, not bake it into your contract.

Or, it could be because he wants to hit free-agency, and see what’s out there. I think of Hosmer similarly here, but I believe Moose sincerely appreciates the Royals, enjoys Kansas City, and loves the organization. I think all of that stuff is real.

But I also believe that Moose is from Los Angeles, and may want to get back to California, where there are three Major League Baseball* within a relatively short drive from his childhood home.

Sean Thornton at Bleeding Royal Blue looks at the free-swingin’ Royals.

There is no bigger factor than looking at what pitches the Royals are swinging at. So far this year, the batters are swinging at 34.3% of pitches outside the strike zone, leading the AL. Fascinating enough, the team is also swinging at 70.2% of pitches within the strike zone (tops in the AL), which means this team is swinging at almost everything being tossed up there. The sad part is that they are only making contact 75% of the time, which earns them 2nd worst in the American League behind only Tampa Bay. The Royals are swinging and missing at pitches 12.5% of the time, the 2nd highest in the AL as well. This shouldn’t be too surprising to long time fans, since this has long been a ‘put the ball in play’ team who rarely takes a walk. The problem is a lot of the times they just aren’t putting the ball in play and that is killing their offense in the process.

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City says the Royals are falling behind at their checkpoints.

I don’t want to say these are must-win series in April, but they’re kind of must-win series. They need to get at least one against the White Sox this week and then win their next four series. That means two of three against the Twins, three of four against the White Sox and two of three against the Indians. That’s an 8-4 stretch. That would put them at 15-16.

Then that brings us to the next checkpoint, which is Memorial Day. There’s 20 games following the next 12 game stretch. Take 12 of those games to sit at 27-24 and the ship is back on course. That’s what they need to do now. They need to go 20-12 over their next 32 games to get back into this thing. If they’re within three games of .500, they can have until the end of June to prove that they shouldn’t be wheeling and dealing all their pending free agents, but if they’re farther than that, it’s time to start gauging the market.

Could Jorge Soler help out the Royals offense soon?

"He's swinging the bat well," Yost said. "He's feeling better. He missed that time. You just have to make sure he has enough time down there to get his timing back so when he gets here he hits the ground running."

Soler went yard for the second time in his rehab assignment.

Jim Bowden at ESPN thinks the Royals should get the firesale started.

• Eric Hosmer, 1B: The problem is that no contending team is looking for a first baseman -- yet.

• Alcides Escobar, SS: The trade market is loaded with shortstops, including the Cincinnati’s Zack Cozart & Arizona’s Nick Ahmed.

• Michael Moustakas, 3B: If Pablo Sandoval doesn’t hit, the Red Sox could be a match; the Mets and Cardinals also could use him.

• Lorenzo Cain, CF: The Giants need him badly and could then move Span to left.

• Jason Vargas, LHP: One of the best stories of the year, and everyone needs a solid lefty starter.

In this video, Rustin Dodd explains what is wrong with the Royals offense.

Eric Hosmer needs to join the flyball revolution.

Statcast analyzes his swing.

Ned Yost recalls his late friend, Dale Earnhardt, upon the retirement of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

The Royals’ Low-A affiliate had a perfect game thrown against them.

This slide by Chris Coghlan!

Jeb Bush and Derek Jeter are part of a group buying the Marlins for $1.3 billion.

What would you pay Eric Thames now?

The Dodgers call up top prospect Cody Bellinger.

New pitches are making a difference for these five pitchers.

A data-driven program resurrected Dan Straily’s career.

Can Hunter Greene become the first right-handed high school pitcher taken first overall in the MLB draft?

The Pirates call up the first Lithuanian-born player in MLB history.

Will soccer eventually ban heading and what will happen when it does?

Longtime Kansas City sportscaster Frank Boal is retiring.

Uber wants flying taxis.

How flight attendants are set up to fail.

We could be on the verge of a writer’s strike in Hollywood.

Your song of the day is OK Go with The Writing’s on the Wall.