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Weekend Rumblings - News for March 2, 2019

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Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for March 2, 2019

Alex Gordon will be hitting third this year, says Ned Yost.

“I love it,” Gordon said. “I love hitting third. Third is my favorite spot. Hitting first is probably my second favorite. I don’t like hitting second -- has to be first or third.”

A big reason, too, for Gordon’s resurgence in the three hole was all the speed in front of him with Merrifield and Mondesi -- speed that certainly serves as a distraction for pitchers.

“Big part was Whit and Mondi,” Gordon said. “But I got into a good place mentally. Even when I was making outs, I was hitting the ball hard. It was the most comfortable I’ve been in a long time.”

Ned Yost talks about Rule 5 picks Chris Ellis and Sam McWilliams.

“These two kids are like getting a number one pick,” Yost said of Ellis and McWilliams. “But if they’re not ready to pitch in the big league, that’s the rub a little bit, you know. Do you hold onto them?

“Keller made it easy last year. Burch Smith didn’t. We were trying to keep the arm. We liked the arm. Hoping he would get better. It just really never stayed in a spot, never really progressed. But we fought to keep him all year.”

David Lesky is in Arizona with a scouting report on McWilliams.

I can report with certainty that he has some serious flow and throws a fastball in the mid-90s. So here’s the issue. The fastball just wasn’t very good, at least not yesterday, and that sort of fits with some of the scouting reports I’d seen about him in the past.He was having trouble throwing it for strikes, and hitters didn’t have any problem laying off it. When he did throw it in the zone and got a swing, the hitters didn’t look like they were having any trouble with it. Of course, he throws hard enough that you don’t worry that much about it yet. It could come around. What I liked was that his slider was filthy. He got some swings and misses on it from a few big leaguers that makes you think there’s something to build on there. He was pretty consistently at 86 or 87 with it throughout his two inning outing and hitters looked very confused by it.

Jeffrey Flanagan talks to Bubba Starling on why he’s off to such a hot start.

I think it’s coming down to being relaxed and comfortable and how early I can see the ball to be on time. That’s pretty much what I’m working on. Keeping it simple. That last at-bat, in the past I probably would have tried to get too big and try to overdo something. But I just tried to stay relaxed. I think I chased one pitch and got down 1-2 but I got back to 3-2. I could have taken that one [inside pitch and gotten hit by it]. But I ended up having a good at-bat. I didn’t get the one pitch I could drive so I just stayed relaxed.”

In his Mellinger Minutes, Sam touches on downtown baseball.

I do think the Royals moving downtown would be good for the franchise, and more importantly good for Kansas City. We need to think less about now, and more about what’s going to best in 10 years or 20....

I do think the Royals are more serious about exploring this than ever before, and that there are more people inside the organization — and people whose voices truly matter within the organization — who want to be downtown than ever before.

Mike Trout won’t rule out contract talks with the Angels, but not during spring training.

Who are the best free agents still available?

Ken Rosenthal reports on “significant progress” between MLB and the union on potential rule changes.

August trades could become a thing of the past.

Scott Boras thinks Jose Fernandez could have been a $300 million player.

Craig Edwards at Fangraphs tries to end service time manipulation.

Driveline Baseball tries to determine the value of a prospect.

The Nationals need a bullpen cart driver.

Video shows Giants CEO Larry Baer pulling his wife to the ground in an altercation.

The Chiefs could be in on running back Le’Veon Bell.

Seven rule change ideas for MLS.

China won’t take plastic recycling from the U.S. anymore, which means we’re burning our plastic trash now.

Advertisers are jumping ship from Youtube over child safety concerns.

The Sandlot is being turned into a television series with the original cast.

Your song of the day is Sonny Rollins with There Will Never Be Another You.