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Royals Rumblings - News for April 3, 2018

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The Royals are hammering the ball, but to no avail.

Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for April 3, 2018

Weak contact doomed Jason Hammel in Monday’s loss to Detroit, writes Maria Torres.

But in the fifth, eight of the nine batters who faced Hammel got enough of his pitches to jack the average exit velocity up about 6 mph. A ball that travels 86.2 mph off the bat registers a light pink color on MLB’s Statcast tool and generally doesn’t cause much of a disturbance in a pitcher’s outing.

Yet the Tigers felled Hammel by taking advantage of those soft-hit balls anyway.

”Third time around, they just found some holes off him,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “That ball up the middle (an error on Whit Merrifield) we had it played perfectly. I thought he threw the ball OK. They just found holes.”

The Royals think Nate Karns could be the next great Royals reliever, writes Rustin Dodd.

Karns will be eligible to return to the 25-man roster when the Royals open a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians on Friday. The Royals do not expect him to be out long. Soon enough, he will be pitching out of the bullpen. The experiment could last for months.

The Royals plan to monitor his workload and control his innings. In time, Yost said, they will “go to the whip,” as they did with Minor last season. It is easy to envision a scenario in which Karns excels, where his power arm fuses perfectly with a job that requires securing three or six outs, not 18. Maybe Karns is the next Davis or Hochevar. Maybe he can cash in like Minor. “It’s very lucrative,” Yost said.

It is early, but Mike Moustakas is already hammering the ball.

Yost estimated during spring training that Moustakas needed some 35 at-bats to find his timing in the batter’s box. Moustakas, who logged nine hits, including four homers, in eight games this spring, didn’t need nearly that many.

“If (agent) Scott (Boras) didn’t think he was in good shape, he would have been honest with me,” general manager Dayton Moore said during the last week of spring training. “He’s looked good this spring.”

The difference?

Health.

Craig Brown at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City thinks ticket prices are too high.

Obviously, there are lean times ahead. And with several stalwarts moving on to new teams, that makes it less palatable to casual fans who fell for players like Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain. That’s natural and in this situation, unavoidable.

Then, there are the ticket prices. The cheapest ticket on Thursday, with fees, was around $90. That’s simply an insane amount of freight for a team on the fringe of tanking, home opener or not.

Lucas Duda left Monday’s game with hamstring tightness as a precautionary move.

Royals broadcaster Steve Physioc has written a novel.

The Astros needed multiple player and a leaf blower to raise the World Series banner.

Lance McCullers is using his curveball more and dominated in his first start.

Brian Dozier has a silly take on the unwritten rules of the game after an opponents bunts against the shift late in a blowout.

The good and bad of Shohei Otani’s pitching debut.

Jeff Passan is tired of complaints about expanded netting at ballparks.

Ranking baseball’s best bullpens.

What song does each team play for the seventh inning?

ESPN will launch a stand-alone streaming subscription service, although it still won’t have the big games.

Arike Ogunbowale became a Final Four legend with two buzzer-beaters to win a title for Notre Dame.

The downfalls to Silicon Valley’s pursuit of rapid growth.

Don’t worry about coffee’s health risks - or benefits.

Russian agents are posing as “furries” on Tumblr.

Your song of the day is Alice in Chains with Rooster.