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Weekend Rumblings - News for April 20, 2019

The Royals are high on their offense.

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Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for April 20, 2019

Alex Gordon’s hot start is drawing praise from hitting coach Terry Bradshaw.

“He is getting good balls to hit and not missing them,” Bradshaw said. “He has an unbelievable routine that he is committed to. He sticks to it. He goes about it the right way. He is a true professional. I never really worry about Gordo. He has been here for a while. You are talking about a veteran guy. His work ethic is off the charts.”

Richard Lovelady was a bit overwhelmed by pitching in Yankee Stadium.

“You know, the whole atmosphere of being in Yankee Stadium kinda got a little too much blood pumping. It just took me to step off the mound a reset, just take a breather and get back out there and hit the zone.”

In his Friday notes, David Lesky looks at Billy Hamilton.

Billy Hamilton is every bit as bad as I thought he’d be, and it’s really frustrating. I noted in my Transaction Analysis at Baseball Prospectus that he had an embarrassingly low hard hit rate of 8.5 percent last season. For those who don’t know, hard hit rate is the percentage of batted balls a hitter strikes at harder than 95 MPH on the exit velocity. This year, heading into last night’s game in New York, he was at 5.7 percent. His average exit velocity was 78.3 MPH. It’s not the worst in the league, but it’s real close.

Clint Scoles gives his thoughts on the Royals’ minor league system.

With a talented group of college pitchers at Wilmington the Royals maybe playing a couple of pitchers below their talent level in Lexington. Lefty Kris Bubic has a 43.5% strikeout rate early in the season while allowing just 13 baserunners in 16 innings over three starts. It’s easy to see why Bubic was the pitcher chosen to head to Low-A as he’s the youngest of the group of 1st round pitchers and he didn’t dominate at Idaho Falls last year. There he struggled with his control (4.5 BB/9) while allowing a hit per inning despite striking out 12.6 hitters per nine. That’s not been an issue so far with the left-hander hitting the zone with 69% of his pitches while accumulating a 20.6% swinging strike rate.

Whit Merrifield stopped by the MLB Network studios.

Brad Keller stopped by too, to answer questions in the “Chatter Cage.”

Pete Grathoff points out that Nicky Lopez is on fire for Omaha.

Alcides Escobar is in AAA with the White Sox, grinding it out.

“I’m happy to be here, man, to receive this opportunity to come in here,” Escobar told me. “I’m just here for playing baseball and playing hard.”

Drew Osborne at Royals Farm Report takes a closer look at Royals minor league pitcher Kris Bubic.

In his latest podcast episode, Clubhouse Conversation talks to Bubic.

A look at some extreme pitcher stats so far.

Who are the biggest stars in the upcoming free agent classes?

Gio Gonzalez fires agent Scott Boras.

Jacob deGrom will get an MRI on his elbow.

The Yankees sign first baseman Logan Morrison.

A proposal to turn volunteer college baseball assistant coaches into paid positions was defeated.

NY Times sportswriter Tyler Kepner talks about his new book about iconic pitches on NPR.

Major League Baseball abandons plans for a baseball academy in Birmingham, Alabama, with the project moving to Florida.

Indians slugger Carlos Santana becomes a U.S. citizen.

What is the biggest “what if” from a sports movie?

Raiders coach Jon Gruden sent his scouts home because he doesn’t trust them.

Pinterest is now more valuable than Macy’s or Nordstrom’s.

There is a Hollywood fight that is pitting writers against agents.

How Nintendo introduced the Game Boy, Tetris, and Pokemon to the West.

Your song of the day is Miles Davis with Stella by Starlight.