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Weekend Rumblings - News for September 14, 2019

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Win a home run title, Jorge!

Jorge Soler #12 of the Kansas City Royals hits a solo home run in the 1st inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for September 14, 2019

Ned Yost is excited about his hitters reaching personal goals, writes Jeffrey Flanagan.

The Royals strongly encourage the pursuit of individual goals along with the team ones.

“[Hunter] Dozier getting to 30 homers, that’s a goal. That’d be really cool,” Yost said. “Whit [Merrifield] getting to 200 hits. Really something. Do we care about that stuff? The answer is not just yes, it’s ‘Hell, yes!’”

Lynn Worthy writes that Jorge Lopez is succeeding after making some adjustments.

“It’s all about trust, more mentality stuff than anything,” Lopez said after Thursday’s game.

He and pitching coach Cal Eldred simplified his delivery, and he’s now pitching exclusively out of the stretch. He believes his fastball command is better as well as his ability to throw pitches that start as strikes but dart out of the zone before reaching the plate.

“I feel more comfortable right now than I used to,” Lopez said. “I feel like my first 10 starts I wasn’t the guy I am right now. I feel like I’ve been getting stronger with my fastball.”

David Lesky in his Friday notes, has some thoughts on a potential Dayton Moore extension.

I really can’t remember when this story dropped, but Jon Heyman mentioned that owner-elect John Sherman is planning on giving Dayton Moore a “long extension.” I do not pretend to have better or more sources than Heyman, but from everything I’ve heard, that’s far from decided at this point. It doesn’t mean the new ownership group won’t extend Moore, but just that they haven’t reached that decision yet. And that’s not surprising because the report doesn’t pass the smell test for me at all. I know that Sherman has a little bit more intel on the Royals than most new owners would for the teams they’re purchasing, but I just can’t see someone making that decision to extend a general manager he’s hardly had an opportunity to evaluate before he even completes the sale. That’s just not a way that smart businessmen (and Sherman is a very smart businessman) operate. My guess for the beginning of the ownership tenure is that there isn’t much in the way of change in 2020 unless people decide for themselves that they want to move on.

Jonathan Mayo looks at pitchers that improved their prospect stock this year, including Daniel Lynch.

After Lynch had a very strong pro debut in the summer of 2018, the only thing that slowed him down was a minor arm issue that shelved him for over a month. He was very effective in the Carolina League when healthy and finished with a combined 2.99 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning. He could further boost himself with a strong AFL showing.

The Lexington Legends win the South Atlantic League championship.

Darin Watson writes about Jorge Soler’s pursuit of the AL home run crown.

Ryan Sikes at Kings of Kauffman writes about three players that need to take a step forward next year.

The Red Sox cannot justify trading Mookie Betts.

Could an All-Star team from bad teams beat the best teams in baseball?

It looks like Dallas Keuchel was worth the investment.

A look at the top 20 free agents this winter.

Is winning taking a backseat to spending efficiency?

What NFL players could have played professional baseball?

The death of paper tickets and the stories they leave behind.

Gardner Minshew just became the most fascinating rookie in the NFL.

Chessmasters can lose 15-20 pounds during a tournament.

MoviePass is shutting down today.

JJ Abrams reportedly turns down a $500 million deal with Apple.

Saturday Night Live will have its first full-time Asian-American cast member.

Your song of the day is Oscar Peterson with All of Me.