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Royals Rumblings - News for April 5, 2017

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MLB: Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for April 5, 2017

Sam Mellinger lays out what needs to happen for the Royals to be successful this year.

1. The bullpen needs to be good. This would’ve been true no matter what happened Monday. I wrote this in the column, but the bullpen was, generally, the team’s biggest concern coming into the season. I happen to believe that Kelvin Herrera will be better than Wade Davis in 2017, but even if that’s true, getting him a lead to protect in the ninth will require much more mixing and matching than in years past.

2. Eric Hosmer has a big year. He is the player most capable of having a huge offensive season, the kind that turns into MVP votes. The lineup is still balanced enough, but Hosmer’s talent turning into consistent top-shelf production would go a long way in boosting an offense that finished 13th in runs in the American League.

3. Alex Gordon becomes Alex Gordon again. He gave the Royals nothing last year, and getting close to the production he had in the five previous seasons would do more to boost the Royals offense than anything that even Hosmer is likely to accomplish.

Lee Judge breaks down the bullpen breakdown.

Having a left-handed pitcher throw to left-handed hitters is one of the oldest strategies in baseball, but in this case Strahm has reverse splits — left-handed hitters do better off him than right-handed hitters — and two of the Twins hitters due up in the seventh had actually done better off left-handed pitchers than right-handed pitchers.

So feel free to question the decision to send Strahm to the mound, but always remember there are things we don’t know. Strahm has been working on a slider to help neutralize lefties, but in this outing the slider didn’t play much of a role.

He also writes the Royals will whiff a lot more in 2017.

Clark Fosler at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looked at very young hitters who struggled initially as Raúl Mondesí did last year.

First off, I doubt any of you are shocked to learn that there are young rookies who struggled early. Without question, I am not representing that Mondesi is about to become Trout-esque (he won’t) or even Vizquel-ish (he could), but this list of 256 young rookies who were not good is a fun one to browse.

I was not surprised to see a fair number of future big-swinging power hitters on the list. It makes sense (to me anyway) that those guys would swing and miss a lot without the corresponding long balls as they learned their trade. So we have Anthony Rizzo, Lance Parrish, Paul Konerko, Andruw Jones, John Mayberry, Carlos Delgado, Willie Aikens, Matt Williams, Gorman Thomas, Jim Thome and Dean Palmer just to name a few. Oh, and a guy named Reggie Jackson who hit one home run in 1967 on his way to a .178/.269/.305 line.

Your bitmoji can now be decked out in Royals gear.

Danny Duffy’s performance Monday was great for his favorite charity.

Dayton Moore falls to the middle of the pack in a fan survey on front offices.

If you are at a game and appear on TV, you can have that clip sent to your phone.

Opening Day was homer-ific for young players.

The Mariners are mixing up the blueprint for what an outfield looks like.

Are the Cubs beginning a dynasty?

FiveThirtyEight ranks every pitching rotation.

Velocities are being recorded differently which may account for apparent spikes.

Oh no, David Ross did a “Magic Mike” routine on Dancing with the Stars.

Four things MLB the Show 17 needs to update.

All-Star slugger Pedro Guerrero is reportedly fighting for his life.

The NHL won’t participate in the 2018 Olympics, and players are mad.

The NFL signs a deal to stream games on Amazon this year.

St. Louis is not getting a soccer stadium.

What was Wrestlemania 33 like for someone who has never watched wrestling?

What is an elite college really worth?

Suge Knight reveals who he thinks killed Tupac.

Your song of the day is Mr. Mister with Kyrie.