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Royals Rumblings - News for April 6, 2017

Rough stuff

Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins
Doesn’t it feel like we’ve all been hit in the hand?
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Jeffrey Flanagan reports on the Royals’ problems with walks:

"It's uncharacteristic," Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland said after the Royals' 9-1 loss on Wednesday. "It's just two games. But yeah, it's unacceptable."

Royals pitchers offered little in the way of an explanation. Starter Ian Kennedy, who walked five Wednesday, said he felt he was pushing his pitches. Reliever Nathan Karns, who walked two and gave up a three-run triple in the Twins' six-run seventh, simply said he was "a little off."

The Twins, of course, saw it another way: good patience at the plate.

"I think we have more walks than hits, but it works," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I think these guys understand that walks are part of the game and that if you can get on base in any fashion, you can contribute to opportunities to score runs. You have to cash them in, and we did a pretty good job of that today. So it's been a nice start."

Someone should tell the Royals’ hitters that walks are good.

Mike Moustakas hopes that his Opening Day dong can help get him off to the right start:

After most of Moustakas' 2016 season was wiped out because of an ACL tear, he is eager to bounce back big in 2017. That home run Monday got him off to a good start.

"Always nice to get the first hit out of the way and even better that it's a homer," Moustakas said. "I remember one year I was like 0-for-22 before I got that first hit -- felt like I'd never get one."

At Baseball Prospectus KC, Craig Brown dives into the first disastrous game of the season, noting the following on Danny Duffy:

There can be any number of explanations for Duffy’s apparent decline in velocity. It was his first start of the season, after he was dialed in for the World Baseball Classic. Perhaps he’s dialing it back a notch to deal with what was an accelerated spring training. Perhaps he’s just pacing himself for a target innings mark that represents a career high. Perhaps the guns aren’t properly calibrated to measure the ball leaving his hand this early in the season. Or maybe Duffy just couldn’t get properly loose. Hell, it could be none of these or it could even be a combination of more than one.

In other words, it’s far too early to sound the alarm bell over a drop in velocity. Although based on Duffy’s injury history and the obvious trends from both velocity charts above, this is a development that bears watching. Maybe there’s nothing there and maybe Duffy’s velocity levels off in the rest of April. Whatever is happening – and there’s a chance that it’s absolutely nothing – Duffy’s fastball velocity is something that bears monitoring over the next few starts.

One thing we do know from Duffy’s first start of the year, was he was at times brilliantly effective. The changeup was a quality pitch, generating a swing and a miss on over a quarter of the time. It was also the pitch that he kept in the zone the most, getting a strike on nearly 70 percent of all changeups thrown. It had about 8 to 9 mph of separation from his fastball, and with a 10 inch horizontal break, it’s not surprising that with his ability to locate, the Twins hitters had fits against that pitch.

Leigh Oleszczak preaches a little patience on these Royals at KC Kingdom.

Jeff Zimmerman takes a quick look at how the new measurement point for velocity is affecting the readings we’re seeing on broadcasts.

At the Hardball Times, Sky Kalkman introduces Win Probability Added Above Replacement.

Eno Sarris introduces baseball’s next top changeup.

BP’s Zach Crizer wonders if Buster Posey’s pitch-calling might be pitching magic.

This Chili’s that rallied around its sexual harasser before the public got wind of things sounds like it would have been a terrible place to work.

Some inspired lunatic is running a Just the Ten of Us Twitter account that’s kinda awesome.

Chicago Police Department’s bad relationship with the black community goes back farther than the recent charges as these records show.

Uber could be dealt another blow in Seattle.

The song of the day is “Anthem for the Already Defeated” by Rock Plaza Central.