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Weekend Rumblings - News for June 10, 2017

What’s wrong with Kelvin?

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Weekend Rumblings - News for June 10, 2017

Vahe Gregorian writes that the Royals can’t afford Kelvin Herrera to be in a slump.

Yost acknowledged the home run flurry but rationalized that “it goes in cycles. Just like a hitter’s slump, pitchers get in slumps, too.”

There’s some truth in that, but there’s also truth in this:

Herrera in the moment isn’t the pitcher he’s been … or the one the Royals had expected him to be this season.

Whatever the reason — blame the role change if you want, or, heck, perhaps distraction from rumors he might be trade fodder himself — the Royals now lack the accustomed recent certainty of an advantage in the crucible.

Lee Judge notes Herrera has been better with the game on the line.

This season in save situations Herrera has an ERA of 3.00. In non-save situations it’s 9.64.

Herrera’s better in high-leverage situations than medium- or low-leverage situations.

When the game is tied opponents have hit .200 off him, when it’s within one run it’s .205, within two runs it’s .280, within three runs it’s .293 and when the margin is four runs or more, opponents have hit .400. Some of those numbers are scary, but so far in 2017, the closer the game the better Herrera has pitched.

Rustin Dodd looks at the mechanics.

There is something wrong with Herrera right now. His command has been a tick off. He’s left some off-speed pitches in bad locations. His fastball velocity (97.4) is down a tick from his peak but actually harder than last season (97.1). He is however, throwing fewer fastballs than he ever has — 58.7 percent of the time, compared with 60.2 percent last year and 74.5 percent in 2014 and 76.3 percent last year.

Herrera added a slider to his arsenal last year. He’s throwing it 18.5 percent of the time. His change up usage (22.8 percent) is up a tick from last year, too. On the whole, his peripheral numbers have been good (27 strikeouts, five walks). But none of his pitches have been exceptional this year, according to pitch value totals at FanGraphs.

Patrick Brennan at Kings of Kauffman talks to Royals prospect Chase Vallot.

A preview of the Royals’ Dominican Summer League team.

Rays outfielder Kevin Kiemaier is out for two months.

The Cardinals let Jhonny Peralta go and shake up the coaching staff.

The Rockies are a good road team, for a change.

Oakland’s defense is terrible.

Despite Moneyball, teams are still looking for “good-bodied” draft picks.

Texas A&M and Davidson played the longest NCAA regional game ever.

A former Pirates reliever looks for love on “Bachelor Canada.”

3-on-3 basketball will be an Olympic sport in 2020.

Remember the last time England’s soccer team won anything.

So who is Lord Buckethead and what is his political agenda?

The New York Times lists its top 25 movies of the 21st century.

Meet the guy who played Barney, the purple dinosaur.

Your song of the day is Miles Davis with Diane.