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Weekend Rumblings - News for August 26, 2017

Whit Bird is the word.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Weekend Rumblings - News for August 26, 2017

Rustin Dodd writes that Brandon Maurer has great stuff, but not-so-great results.

But in recent days, Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland suggested a simple adjustment: a move from the extreme first-base side of the pitching rubber to the third-base side.

“It’s a somewhat simple adjustment,” Yost said. “But for pitchers, it’s not.”

The Royals hope the move will create more deception in the delivery and help hide the ball from hitters. Maurer said this week that he has become comfortable with the change.

“It’s actually been easier than I was thinking it was going to be, to be honest,” Maurer said. “As long as you’re just staying with the same mechanics, it’s pretty much just delivering the same pitch.”

Mike Moustakas missed a second straight game with knee soreness.

Royals manager Ned Yost said Moustakas had no structural damage in his knee. He described the issue as a tendon that “just kind of rolled over and popped.” But two days later, some discomfort remained.

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looks at the ascension of Whit Merrifield.

There seems to be a popular game to play to diminish what Merrifield has done for various reasons, but the fact is that he’s been worth 3.9 WARP in his first 190 games and appears to have a high enough floor that even if his offense regresses to something like .270/.310/.380, he’s still a valuable piece on a club in need of valuable pieces. I don’t think it’s out of the question to believe that he’s somewhere in between his current line and the line I just gave you. If he’s a 1.5 to 2-win player over the next two or three seasons, that’s a huge win for the Royals given that he’ll likely make about $2 million in that time, maximum. I think I’ve said this before, but I think a pretty decent comp for Merrifield is later career Martin Prado, but without the threat of him falling off a cliff for age reasons. That will work, especially as the Royals could use a guy who can hit well enough and play multiple positions competently. This isn’t controversial at all, but I’m all aboard the Whit train.

Stacy Gotsulias at The Sporting News writes about the struggles of Alex Gordon.

When you break down how Gordon performs against certain pitches, the only ones he hits well are sinkers and splitters. The pitch that vexes him the most is the slider. He’s struck out 28 times on sliders and is only hitting .121 against them. He’s also not doing much of anything against fastballs. He’s hitting .211 against them and slugging .323. When a player can’t hit fastballs it usually signals the beginning of the end. It means they’re losing bat speed and can’t catch up to MLB pitching.

Lee Judge says you have to watch Whit to appreciate him.

The Royals honor family with special bats.

How Salvador Perez got the nickname “El Nino.”

Royals 2017 fourth-round pick Michael Gigliotti was named an Appalachian League All-Star.

Jon Heyman ranks the top 60 free agents this winter with plenty of Royals, except Alcides Escobar.

Joe Posnanski looks at tough-luck games for pitchers, including Kevin Appier’s one-hitter.

Jeff Passan tries to determine whether there was intent behind Dellin Betances beaning James McCann in the head in a heated Yankees/Tigers game.

Teams are relying increasingly on dongs.

MLB hands out suspensions from the Yankees/Tigers brawl.

Jon Heyman questions the Astros laying off a number of scouts.

The case for a four-man rotation.

Brett Gardner is not thrilled about having nicknames for Players Weekend.

“Rally Cat” has a lawyer, and wants the St. Louis Cardinals to stay away from his client.

The 2017 Piesman Trophy watch is on.

Chiefs runningback Spencer Ware left last night’s game with a knee injury.

Kansas City is trying to start bike lane work that is years behind schedule.

Google and Walmart will team up to try to take on Amazon.

Why Warner Brothers and DC should stop trying to copy Marvel.

Your song of the day is Sonny Stitt with Body and Soul.