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Royals Rumblings - News for June 20, 2017

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Royals Rumblings - News for June 20, 2017

Salvador Perez is dealing with a side issue.

“Any time Salvy gets a little nicked, you’re a little concerned,” Yost said. “But if Nick’s not concerned, I’m not concerned, and Nick isn’t very concerned about this.

“He doesn’t feel like it’s an oblique. It’s just a spot that catches every once in a while, if (Perez) kind of pinches down on it. It gives him a little discomfort for a minute of two.”

The secret weapon for the Royals might be an espresso machine.

Merrifield had his first cup of Moylan’s espresso on May 13, the first day of a 19-game hitting streak. Left fielder Alex Gordon finally gave into Moylan’s prodding in early June, sampling his first taste. A few days later, he hit his first home run in a victory over the Astros. Not satisfied by simply having the drink at home games, Gordon went out and bought another espresso machine to take on road trips.

“Gordo looks like he’s never had caffeine before,” starting pitcher Ian Kennedy said. “He’s like: ‘We need to buy one for road!”

Jason Vargas is finding his inner ace.

Whereas in some previous seasons, Vargas was going to his fastball about 60 percent of the time, his changeup about 30 percent, and his curve for the remaining 10, this year the split is more like 50, 30, 20. That's a huge change in approach, and it has given Vargas options at the end of the count he didn't have before. It also helps to explain the rise in swinging strikes and the decline in strikeout rate, and suggests that at least some of the drop in Vargas's superb HR/FB right now might be sustainable, as hitters fail to time him up.

Mike Moustakas did not care for questions from a reporter on trade talk.

Craig Brown at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looks at the challenges ahead of the Royals.

Are the Royals out of it? Absolutely not. The problem is, they’re one of 14 teams vying for four spots. (The Astros have lapped the field in the West.) Their road trip was a resounding success. Now, they have to build on the California wins and stay hot. Position will mean everything. Not just for the trade deadline, but once the races really catch fire.

Still, how about that offense?

Jeff Passan is skeptical the Royals about the Royals.

Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain instead of recognizing their team’s deficiencies and their farm system’s barrenness combine to scream for a proper rebuild. Nah. That’s not the Royals’ style, particularly after a six-game winning streak put them in striking distance of .500.

That’s the standard in the AL these days. Three games under .500! We’re in it to win it! When you’ve got three talents like Hosmer, Moustakas and Cain, the inclination is to believe they’ll be the driving forces in bringing this team back from the dead. As noble an idea as that is, the three of them alone are not enough, and getting a sense of their potential market now would be mighty prudent.

David Cameron at Fangraphs looks at the buyers and sellers.

The Royals have, perhaps unfortunately for their franchise’s best interests, played themselves back into a dilemma; a fruitless run at a playoff spot that kept them from trading any of their impending free agents could make the coming rebuild even more challenging, but with recent playoff success with this group still in everyone’s memory, it’s not that hard to justify a “one last run” mentality.

Corey Toups and Marten Gasparini make MLB Pipeline’s Team of the Week.

Willie Wilson golfs to raise awareness for drug addiction.

Yankees top infield prospect Gleyber Torres out for the season with Tommy John surgery.

The Athletics and Astros have mutual interest in a Sonny Gray trade.

Joe Maddon believes in resting his players.

Have the Rockies found the formula for winning in altitude?

Aaron Judge might be the most out-of-nowhere MVP candidate since Ichiro.

What will baseball look like over the next 20 years?

Latino baseball players give frank replies on the challenges they face in MLB.

Peter Gammons chimes in on the way the draft has changed.

These teams stink at developing shortstops.

Days before the draft and in the middle of trade talks, the Cavs fire their GM.

75 of the greatest college football GIFs of all-time.

Time Warner will spend $100 million on Snapchat original shows and ads.

Meet some of the colorful and wildly inexperienced new members of France’s parliament.

What if the Earth suddenly turned flat?

Your song of the day is Miike Snow with Genghis Khan.