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Royals Rumblings - News for June 12, 2017

I wish they all could be California ballparks.

Kansas City Royals v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for June 12, 2017

Ned Yost gave Alex Gordon some ribbing over his power outage.

“Since him and Gore were tied for homers, it was important to him to get one more than Gore got,” Yost said, a deadpan expression on his face. “He went out and did it today.”

Salvador Perez left the game early as a precaution.

“[He] took a swing and felt a little tightness in here,” Yost said, pointing to his left side. “He didn’t say nothing, and we kept prying, and he said: ‘Yeah, it’s a little tight.’ I’m not taking any chances.”

Rustin Dodd profiles rookie outfielder Jorge Bonifacio.

The Royals were interested. They liked his ability to hit. Moore liked his intangibles. He was secure and confident and intelligent. And he had the family pedigree. Still, the bonus demand was high, and other teams were skeptical of his athleticism. Bonifacio lacked the speed to play center field. He would likely end up as a corner outfielder.

“A lot of clubs didn’t care much for him because he was a little chubby,” Francisco said. “People kind of ran away from him because of the asking price. But we saw somebody that had the ability to hit.”

After one workout, Moore and Francisco saw enough. The Royals offered a six-figure bonus. Bonifacio accepted, signing on Dec. 9, 2009.

“You knew he was going to have to hit,” Moore said. “He wasn’t playing a premium position. He wasn’t that type of athlete. It was betting on the bat.”

Craig Edwards at Fangraphs writes about how Mike Moustakas is swinging for the fences.

Moustakas is simply swinging and missing a lot more, and it’s working. Outside of the zone, Moustakas used to swing about one-third of the time. He’s up to 41% this year and his contact rate has gone down from around 75% to 66%, which is actually a good thing. Moustakas’ high contact rate hampered his ability to make good contact in the past and got him optioned to the minors a few years back. He’s swinging at more pitches in the zone, too, with his 75% swing rate ranking third in all of baseball. He’s maintained a relatively high rate of contact there, at 89%.

So we have a guy with a fly-ball swing, willing to miss a little bit more when the pitch goes out of the zone, but maintaining the contact rate in the zone. Moustakas is not a part of any fly-ball revolution. He’s always been a fly-ball hitter who didn’t strike out very much.

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City considers why Kelvin Herrera may be struggling.

I just feel like the command isn’t there, even thought the control mostly has been. A big difference to me is that Herrera is throwing the ball in the strike zone 58.4 percent of the time compared to a career average of 50.1 percent and the highest full season of his career by a full seven percent plus. They’re not really making any more contact on pitches inside the strike zone, but there are more of them to make contact on, thus the increase in batted balls. Add in that more of his pitches outside the strike zone are just outside the strike zone and he’s given up much more contact on those pitches as well. So yes, the slider is an issue and a big one. I think maybe as big a problem is that he’s leaving it in the zone too much. He’s increased his zone rate on his slider by a full eight percent this year. But I think the other pitches spending too much time in the strike zone has been an issue for him as well. The stuff is clearly still there. Some effective wildness might do him good.

Teams are asking about Royals pitcher Jason Vargas.

Jorge Soler hit a walk-off grand slam, his second home run of the day in a wild win for Omaha.

Kyle Zimmer is coming back soon?

Michael Bauman at The Ringer hates this draft because of all the first basemen.

Some sleeper college pitcher draft prospects.

Buster Olney writes Greg Holland was the best free agent signing last year.

Why the Mariners will probably regret the Jean Segura signing.

How every team has fared in the draft since 2000.

How will the next five years treat these baseball legacies?

A conversation with former ESPN writer Jayson Stark.

Why is baseball dead in fictional work about the future such as Futurama and Star Trek?

Beating “The Freeze” is one of the best ballpark entertainment shows ever.

Former Royals minor leaguer Blaine Boyer is working to stop sex trafficking.

Madden 18 has a story mode.

Rafael Nadal proves he is the best tennis player on clay ever.

Puerto Rico votes for statehood.

Google’s AI vision may not include giant robots.

The importance of Adam West’s “Bright Night” Batman.

Your song of the day is The Beach Boys with California Girls.