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Royals Rumblings - News for May 2, 2017

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The comeback starts today.

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for May 2, 2017

Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs looks back at April, the worst offensive month in Royals history.

By OPS compared to the average, the Royals just finished April at 68%. That’s their worst-ever mark by five percentage points, beating out August 2005. The Royals had never hit so poorly. Don’t get me wrong, the Royals had hit very poorly, but this was probably their worst calendar month. And this is not a ballclub with a short history. It took some effort to come out this bad.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was one of the worst months of all time. Shifting to the more familiar wRC+, the Royals finished April at 65. That’s quite bad, but since 2002 — which is as far back as our splits leaderboard goes — there have been 23 worse offensive months. In April 2004, the Expos somehow posted a 37 wRC+, and they scored runs at just 39% of the league-average rate. In April 2003, the Tigers posted a 39 wRC+. As recently as June 2014, the Padres achieved a 40 wRC+. They scored runs at 55% of the league-average rate. The Royals have made team history, but I don’t want to exaggerate.

The Royals are trying to improve at holding baserunners.

The root causes for the influx of stolen bases have little to do with Perez and Butera, of course. Perez continues to possess one of the strongest and quickest arms in baseball. His skill set has not changed from last season. But two additions to the starting rotation appear to have contributed to the problem. Jason Hammel has allowed six stolen bases, while Nathan Karns has allowed five. Opponents are 11 for 12 on stolen-base attempts against Hammel and Karns.

Ned is not going to scream at the club for their losing.

The Zen of Duff.

Kelvin Herrera is trying to get used to not pitching.

For a pitcher who last year appeared in 72 games and was on the mound with two or fewer days of rest for 68 of those contests, adjusting to longer periods of inaction between outings is something of a mental hurdle for Herrera.

But it’s a small sample size, not yet 14 percent through the season. No one is panicking, especially not Herrera.

“I’m ready every day, whether or not I actually get to pitch,” Herrera said. “I do what I can to be prepared when they need me. You have to be ready every single day because you just don’t know when you’re going to get a chance. It could be every fifth day or every day. … I wish I could pitch every day.”

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looks at where some Royals players may end up getting dealt this year.

The debate on Hosmer could run for months about what his next contract will be. In spite of his horrifically slow start, I still believe he’ll get hot and bring his numbers to respectability and command a contract that he doesn’t deserve. It only takes one. As a low-power first baseman, his trade market may not be as big as his free agent market because teams who think they can fix him won’t have the time to do so in-season. Still, he has the pedigree and the talent. The results are just lagging behind a little bit.

Best fits: Yankees, Astros, Rangers, Marlins

Clinton Riddle profiles Royals first base prospect Chris DeVito.

Colby Wilson at Kings of Kauffman makes the case for breaking up the Royals.

The Star asks readers whether the Royals should be selling.

George Brett was on the Pardon My Take podcast.

At least McDonald’s recognizes the problem.

I was a guest on the South Side Sox podcast to talk about those losin’ Royals.

Looking back on the MLB career of Pat Mahomes, the father of the new Chiefs quarterback.

Noah Syndergaard has a partial tear of his lat.

Losing Adam Eaton may not be Washington’s biggest problem.

Adam Jones is subjected to racist taunts in Boston.

Small hands have not hurt the career of Dustin Pedroia.

Rob Neyer recalls “Big Mac”, the predecessor to Baseball Reference.

The strike zone has shrunk this year, for now.

How tough is the jump from each classification in the minors?

Fox cancels Pitch after one season.

Brandon Martin went from baseball prospect to charged in the killing of three men.

What is the future of football?

Jamaal Charles might be joining the Broncos.

Is China’s latest major construction project destined to become a ghost town?

The Northwestern school of journalism lets its accreditation lapse.

Is Kenan Thompson one of the best performers in Saturday Night Live history?

Your song of the day is Etta James with At Last.