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Royals Rumblings - News for May 23, 2017

Is the season slipping away?

MLB: Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for May 23, 2017

Craig Brown at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City says it is not early anymore for the Royals.

Through the first quarter of the season, the Royals have the worst record in the American League. They have played 18 contests against division rivals. They have won four. Frankly, it’s a minor miracle they aren’t further back. The Twins are in first place because they kick the Royals collective ass on the regular. The Royals rank last in the AL in batting average, on base percentage and slugging. Oh, they are also last in the league in runs.

Of course, we hear the refrain of “Don’t give up!” The Royals play their best when their backs are against the wall. They love to prove the doubters wrong and know how to pick themselves up off the infield and come back. They are winners. And so on, and so on.

Unfortunately, this argument confuses the 2017 Royals with the 2014 and 2015 Royals.

Jerry Crasnick at ESPN looks at how each team has answered its most pressing question from the pre-season.

Can the rotation compete for an AL Central title without Yordano Ventura? When Ventura died in a car accident in January, the emotional scars were profound. The Royals were gearing up to make a run as Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar entered their free-agent walk years, and suddenly, their most talented pitcher and beloved teammate was gone. GM Dayton Moore signed Jason Hammel in early February to help fill the innings void. Hammel has been a bust, but the foursome of Jason Vargas, Danny Duffy, Nate Karns and Ian Kennedy has been more than good enough to keep the Royals in games. Kansas City's starters rank fourth in the league with an aggregate 3.85 ERA.

The problem is, the offense has disappeared. The Royals rank last in the AL with 145 runs, and no other club is close. Brandon Moss, Alex Gordon, Escobar and Jorge Soler, all batting below .200, have been the principal culprits in the team's slow start.

Jon Heyman at FanRag doesn’t exactly break news with this tidbit.

The Royals will be selling, rivals are predicting – though they aren’t selling yet. GM Dayton Moore told it isn’t time for that. And that’s fair.

The Royals are still on pace to set the franchise single-season home run record as a team.

“We wanted to add a bigger power component to our lineup,” Royals manager Ned Yost said last week. “It’s been a bigger part of our game than it has been in the past.”

Congrats to Alex Gordon and his wife Jamie on the birth of daughter Joey!

Bubba Starling is heating up at Omaha.

Wilmington’s A.J. Puckett tossed six no-hit innings, although he walked six.

Patrick Brennan at Kings of Kauffman looks at catching prospect Meibrys Viloria.

2080 Baseball has a mock draft that has the Royals taking college pitcher Alex Faedo.

Ian Kinsler lists Danny Duffy and Kelvin Herrera among the toughest Central Division pitchers he has faced.

Comedian Greg Proops will host the “Hall of Game” for the Negro League Baseball Museum on June 10.

The Mets are overworking their bullpen.

The Pirates are having the saddest season.

Curiosity may kill the home run spike.

Aaron Judge gets his own “Judge’s Chambers” at Yankee Stadium.

The Gwinnett Braves are changing their name because people were confusing them with the Atlanta team.

What is it like to like to watch baseball in virtual reality?

Tennessee has a professional hockey team and they’re in the Stanley Cup Finals.

ESPN’s Mike and Mike don’t really seem to like each other anymore.

Swimming pools are filled with poop, but it won’t make you sick.

The FBI is now investigating the Fyre Festival debacle.

Broadcast television is hemorrhaging viewers.

Your song of the day is Midnight Oil with Beds are Burning.