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Royals Rumblings - News for May 17, 2017

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Dayton is not thinking about a firesale.

Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for May 17, 2017

Dayton Moore is not thinking about trading pieces.

The Royals, of course, could still find themselves in position to sell in July. But on Tuesday, Moore stressed that there was little need to make such decisions now. Club officials are confident that they can allow the schedule to play out, offering their championship core another opportunity to climb out of an early-season hole and make a run.

The Royals, meanwhile, will continue to scout other farm systems, a process that Moore describes as consistent with past seasons.

“We have so much information on players,” Moore said. “This is what we do. It doesn’t take much time to put together a deal, regardless of what it is.

“So truthfully, I don’t think about it. We know, as an organization, who the top center fielders are in the minor leagues. We know the top shortstops, top pitchers, and who they play with. We know the top players in the game.”

In his mailbag, Jeffrey Flanagan considers the possibility of a firesale this summer.

The narrative for the Royals' 2017 season is going to center around this question. I get that, because of all of their pending free agents. But even the most desperate teams don't back up the truck in May. Or June. I read somewhere that the earliest fire sale in recent history didn't begin until July 7. So everyone should relax.

Here's something else to consider: General manager Dayton Moore very well could re-sign some of the pending free agents. He has told me repeatedly that he's not about to let everyone walk. Moore's mindset isn't about blowing this whole thing up and starting over. He will retool, not rebuild. I wouldn't be shocked if Jason Vargas was high on the list to re-sign, which would give Kansas City a formidable front four rotation of Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Vargas and Nathan Karns.

Ian Kennedy may return this weekend.

“Every day it gets a little bit better,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy will throw another side session on Wednesday, which could pose the final hurdle before a possible return.

Ned Yost doesn’t care about Esky Magic.

Tony Blengino at Fangraphs grades Kennedy as having one of the better two-seamers in baseball.

Kennedy earned his grade in a different manner than the other AL hurlers. It sure wasn’t volume, as he only threw his two-seamer 8.3% of he time. He also, by far, posted the worst pitch-specific Adjusted Contact Score (118) of any pitcher we’ll discuss today. There were some crazy things going on in his relatively fly-ball heavy BIP profile; his outfielders helped obscure loud contact in the air (48 Unadjusted vs. 138 Adjusted Contact Score), while he was incredibly unlucky on the ground (.474 AVG-.474 SLG, 368 Unadjusted Contact Score, marked down to 144 for context).

His average 92.7 mph velocity was 10th hardest among AL qualifiers’ two-seamers, though he had more than typical horizontal (9.1 inches, tied for seventh) and vertical (8.0 inches, fifth) movement.

Devan Fink writes about why Jason Vargas is succeeding this year.

This year, hitters are hitting .138 against Vargas’s changeup and slugging just .200. He has generated 48 whiffs in 663 pitches with the change, tied for third-best in the Majors with Sale. About 7.2 percent of his changeups result in a swing-and-a-miss, putting him second among all Major League starters in this category.

Even when put in play, Vargas’s changeup generates lots of soft contact. No players have “barreled” the baseball against the pitch; just two have made solid contact.

Remember Kyle Zimmer?

Nolan Watson, on the other hand, will be shut down for a few weeks.

Even by his standards, Joe Maddon is unorthodox this year.

The flyball revolution is hurting as many hitters as it is helping.

The ten-day disabled list is allowing for roster creativity.

The Red Sox have a third base problem.

With home runs up, suspicions arise that PEDs are back in baseball.

Tim Tebow is worth an extra $44,200 per night for teams hosting him.

Francisco Cervelli joins protests against the Venezuela government.

The Celtics and Lakers get the top two picks in the NBA lottery, which was totally not rigged.

The Big Ten did not expect the blowback they received for moving football games to Friday night.

ESPN will concentrate on opinion-driven shows over shows like SportsCenter.

This Pacific island is covered in 38 million pieces of plastic trash.

SNL’s Mikey Day talks about coming up with the David Pumpkins sketch.

Your song of the day is Bleachers with I Wanna Get Better.