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Weekend Rumblings - News for June 17, 2017

Enjoy your weekend, all you dads.

Kansas City Royals  v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for June 17, 2017

Alex Gordon has begun to hit due to a mechanical tweak.

That's when Royals batting coach Dale Sveum suggested to Gordon that part of the reason he wasn't making consistent contact or driving the ball was he had no power base. Gordon simply wasn't loading his back hip and leg.

"You have to go back to go forward, at least with any power," Sveum said. "He was getting to his front side with no power behind his swing."

Through several drills, Gordon began committing to the new approach.

Jonah Keri writes that the Royals may control the July trade deadline.

Vargas, more than perhaps any other player on this summer's trade market, will test baseball's "what have you done for me lately" theory. A 34-year-old soft-tosser who broke into the majors way back in 2005 and never did much to impress anyone, Vargas is suddenly putting up dominating numbers after Tommy John surgery -- only Dallas Keuchel has flashed a lower ERA than Vargas' microscopic 2.10. Thing is, every indicator imaginable suggests this is a fluke: his tiny 5.9 percent home run-per-flyball rate, his bloated 30.1 percent hard-contact rate and 45.2 percent pull rate, and his 86 percent strand rate (third highest in the American League, a bad sign for a stat that's driven largely by luck and thus subject to harsh regression) chief among them. There's plenty of value in a pitcher who eats innings and rarely walks anyone, so Vargas will still fetch plenty of attention. The Royals, trying to figure out who the leaders of the next great run in Kansas City might be, will be highly motivated to sell high.

Joe Posnanski looks at Steve Balboni’s franchise home run record.

Still, you think about Balboni’s home run record of 36 lasting more than 30 years, it’s pretty insane. What’s even crazier is that no Royals player has even CHALLENGED the record in this century. Jermaine Dye hit 33 home runs in 2000, Kendrys Morales hit 30 homers last year and … that’s it. Those are the only two players to even manage 30 home runs for the Royals since 2000.

Do you know how many different players have hit at least 37 home runs in a season since 2000? I’ll tell you: 82. This includes Brian Dozier, Khris Davis, Ryan Ludwick, Phil Nevin, Rich Aurilia, Pat the Bat Burrell and so on. But no Royals player even got close.

Edinson Volquez still thinks about Yordano Ventura all the time.

Lee Judge wonders if this is the winning streak fans have been waiting for.

Clint Scoles at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City reviews the Royals’ first four rounds of the draft here, then rounds five through ten here.

The Royals sign utility infielder Zach Walters and assign him to AA. The 27-year old has 85 games of MLB experience with the Indians, Nationals, and Dodgers.

The Royals will wear special Father’s Day uniforms this weekend.

MLB announces a partnership with the Negro Baseball League Museum.

George Wendt joins the list of celebrities slated to appear at the Big Slick Softball Tournament.

The Dodgers are interested in Jose Quintana.

A closer look at Washington’s bullpen issues.

Rich Hill is out of whack.

Could the Marlins trade Giancarlo Stanton?

Darren Baker, the batboy almost clobbered in the 2005 World Series, was drafted.

Failing to sign a top draft pick seems to be a thing of the past.

NFL player Michael Floyd blames his DUI on Kombucha.

The Sixers may try to trade for the top pick in the draft.

Amazon is betting on the future of commerce.

Someone is trolling Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse with Nickelback newsletters.

Kansas City rapper Mac Lethal shows the 27 styles of rapping.

Your song of the day is the Barry Harris Trio with On Green Dolphin Street.