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Royals Rumblings - News for June 23, 2021

It is Wednesday again. We’ve done it!

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Closeup of the face of a dog, maybe a pug? with a VERY wrinkly face. It appears to be smiling.
This dog smooched me shortly after this photo was taken.
Minda Haas Kuhlmann

Danny Duffy is ready to come back sans a rehab assignment, reports Anne Rogers:

Duffy has been on the IL since May 17 with a left forearm flexor strain, an injury that he battled through over his first few starts, which also happened to be one of the best stretches of his career. The veteran lefty posted a 1.94 ERA in seven starts (41 2/3 innings), holding batters to a .222 average.

That’s where he wants to be when he takes the mound Wednesday.

“My expectation is to take it one step at a time and hopefully pick up right where I left off,” Duffy said. “That’s what I’ve worked so hard for, and that’s my expectation every time out regardless of how much time I’ve had off.”

As excited as he is to make his return, Duffy will be limited in his first start since May 12. Instead of going on a rehab assignment to build up innings, the 32-year-old will do it on the job for the Royals, in part because they need another starter as they begin a stretch of 20 games without an off-day.

Speaking of Duffy, Jim Bowden at The Athletic lists him as a “Medium” in terms of how likely he is to be traded:

12. Danny Duffy, Royals

Likelihood of a trade: Medium

WAR: 1.6

Duffy (left forearm flexor strain) is on the IL after starting the season with a 4-3 record and a 1.94 ERA, arguably the best run of his career. The 32-year-old lefty has been working his way back and is expected to return this week or next. If he can prove he’s healthy and pitches in a similar fashion for at least three to four starts before the deadline, I expect Duffy, who will be a free agent after the season, to be traded.

In the Into the Fountains newsletter, Craig Brown dives into why and how badly Brady Singer needs a changeup.

We have a lot of sticky content today, starting off with David Lesky taking a fascinating look at how the rule enforcement will affect the Royals.

At FanGraphs, Brendan Gawlowski notes it will be difficult to track exactly what the impact of the newly-enforced sticky substance rules are. There’s an example in there of when simply comparing spin rates is not sufficient.

Sheryl Ring contends that implementing a ban on sticky stuff in the way that MLB is doing, might be a violation of the CBA.

The sticky inspections caused quite a spectacle between Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer and Phillies manager Joe Girardi last night. Highlights included Scherzer undoing his belt on the mound, and Girardi getting so mad at Scherzer for looking at him, that he got himself ejected.

Then Sergio Romo took things in an even more pantsless direction:

Is the midseason rule change causing pitcher injuries? A doctor and a biomechanics analyst discuss.

Marcus Stroman left the game with some sort of hip soreness. Poor Mets.

Wander Franco had a heck of a debut for the Rays.

Some Chiefs listicle #content: The Athletic’s NFL staff listed predictions of each team’s MVP this coming season. A certain State Farm spokesman is the obvious choice for Kansas City’s.

Is “time blindness” making you chronically late?

A really nice question from Reddit this week, and I truly hope you will take the opportunity to brag on yourself a bit: What is your biggest non-academic, non work-related accomplishment?

Also from Reddit, a visual on the price of lumber in 2021.

SOTD: a lesser-known Diamond Rio song, I think. But I like to harmonize with its chorus in my car!