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Royals Rumblings - News for April 29, 2021

Hitting the ball hard pays off.

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MLB: Kansas City Royals at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for April 29, 2021

The offense had better luck with hard-hit balls, writes Anne Rogers.

Soler said he didn’t consider his start to the season a slump, but it can be frustrating when he wasn’t seeing the results from the quality at-bats he has been taking.

“It’s definitely a mental test,” Soler said. “You always want to go out there and make an adjustment without getting too crazy with it. But you just have to go out and trust your skill and keep at it. It’s definitely a mental test after a couple.”

Lynn Worthy gets quotes from the skipper on the offensive explosion.

“We talked about it, seeing it coming with Soler,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “That’s a big piece. That was that part of the order. We’ve seen the top third carry us at times. We’ve seen the bottom third, especially early on, really do a nice job of carrying some of the weight. It was that middle third, and Soler, Benintendi and Dozier were all putting together really good at-bats, big at-bats.”

David Lesky at Inside the Crown writes about hard hits, Jakob Junis, and speed.

The Royals have prided themselves on speed for some time, obviously, and this year is no different. So far this season they have five players currently on the roster who rank in the 80th percentile in sprint speed or higher. They are, in order of the lowest percentile to highest, Hunter Dozier, Nicky Lopez, Jarrod Dyson, Whit Merrifield and Michael A. Taylor. They also rank first in the AL in stolen bases, so they’re putting the speed to good use.

And this is before Adalberto Mondesi even makes his season debut and Bobby Witt, Jr. even gets called up to the big leagues. Kyle Isbel also ranked in the 81st percentile in speed before his demotion, so the Royals emphasis on speed is definitely easy to see. I’m not sure how many games it’ll win them, but it’s a fun brand of baseball to watch, you know, when they can actually get on base and utilize that speed.

Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic is still a bit skeptical about the Royals.

...other than their league-leading 22 stolen bases in 27 attempts, it’s not as if the team stands out statistically in any one area. As one opposing manager said, “KC is more solid than good,” adding the Royals likely will benefit from playing in the relatively weak AL Central.

David Schoenfield at ESPN looks at players with hot starts for each team.

Can you believe this is Duffy’s 11th season with the Royals? It seems like yesterday he was just a rookie with a blazing fastball and big potential. Throughout his career, he’s looked great at times and frustrated at others and his ERA over the past three seasons has been about the league average. There used to be a theory about left-handers developing later. He wouldn’t be the first lefty to suddenly peak at 32.

Verdict: Not real. looks back at some of the best Royals baseball cards.

Sinclair, which owns Ballys Sports Kansas City, owes $1.82 billion in fees with a tough ad market.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter looks at trends in the Central Division.

Bryce Harper takes a pitch to the face.

Jacob deGrom ties Nolan Ryan’s record for strikeouts in his first five starts - and loses.

Anthony Rizzo makes a relief appearance and strikes out Freddie Freeman.

Umpire Marty Foster makes a bizarre obstruction call against the Brewers.

George Springer makes his Blue Jays debut.

The Yankees send outfielder Mike Tauchman to the Giants.

James Paxton undergoes Tommy John surgery.

Are pitchers getting better at holding their velocity?

Financial losses due to the pandemic cause Japanese baseball to consider gambling.

Rob Manfred downplays talk of a work stoppage and suggests the next round of expansion fees could run up to $2.2 billion.

The Braves will open stadium capacity to 100 percent in May.

What are the best names in the NFL draft?

The story of the time the Knicks tried to lure Michael Jordan from the Bulls.

All those satellites in orbit are interfering with our view of the night sky.

Artificial intelligence finally wins an elite crossword tournament.

Was The Falcon and the Winter Soldier riddled with contradictions?

Your song of the day is Fleetwood Mac with Everywhere.