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Weekend Rumblings - News for July 17, 2021

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After a short hiatus, Royals baseball is back.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Weekend Rumblings - News for July 17, 2021

Sam Mellinger writes that the Royals have an important few weeks ahead of them.

The Royals are at a crossroads. They are at a transition. The club built itself from punchline to parade with an obsessive focus on the farm system and an unrelenting loyalty and belief in the players on hand.

Going forward, the Royals have vowed to be more transactional, to seek opportunities to use the talent on hand to acquire more talent raised by other organizations.

The shift has been signaled by John Sherman in a few ways, beginning with his introductory press conference two Novembers ago. Dayton Moore, the general manager who has operated with relative autonomy since his hiring in 2006, is on board. But change is never easy.

The next two weeks will tell part of the story.

Alec Lewis had a long interview with owner John Sherman and what he thinks of the season.

It was always dependent on pitching. It seems like it’s always dependent on pitching, right? It’s really important, and you can see with what we’ve tried to build with our system, we’re heavily invested in that currency and commodity. And we feel good about the future. But there are some learning curves. And we expected some of that.

But I also think we felt like the team we put together — with the amount of talent we had, if the players performed at or near the normal expectations — we’d be a team that would hover around .500. There were some projections that had us from a 78-81-win team, something like that. But that depends on guys being healthy and guys performing to their standard. Baseball is a funny game. Dayton always says, “We’ll find out.” Baseball gives you feedback. You play every night. There have been some bright spots and struggles.

Kiley McDaniel at ESPN weighs in on each team’s draft.

When posed the option between Rocker and under slot or this chosen Royals route on the radio show, I didn’t mention my answer would be a secret third option (Kahlil Watson and another prep bat), but I was conflicted on which I would choose. I was high on Mozzicato and low on Rocker. And I tend to like betting on upside, but I also tend to like rolling my bonus money into a few elite types rather than spread it around.

David Laurila at Fangraphs talks to Scott Barlow on his breaking ball.

“I have both a slider and a curveball. I’ve started to integrate the curve a lot more, whereas in the past it was a lot of sliders. It still kind of is. But they kind of work hand-in-hand, and because I’ve thrown the slider so much in the past, my curveball is probably the better story. It’s been a big learning curve as far as when to throw it.

“I messed around with a curveball a lot when I was a starter, but then as a reliever… it was kind of weird, because a lot of relievers typically have two pitches, maybe three. Coming out of the bullpen it was kind of ‘When should I throw that third pitch?’ I think the more opportunities you get, and the more hitters you face, the more you understand when to throw that pitch.

Cam Gallagher was activated from the Injured List with Sebastian Rivero sent to Omaha.

The Mets blog Rising Apple wants New York to pursue Danny Duffy.

Royals reliever Jake Brentz got engaged over the break.

Former Royals first baseman Frank Schwindel is designated for assignment by Oakland.

The Cubs traded outfielder Joc Pederson to the Braves.

The Angels sign outfielder Adam Eaton.

The Blue Jays will likely be back in Toronto by July 30, when they host Kansas City.

Six Yankees test positive for COVID-19, including slugger Aaron Judge.

Nationals infielder Starlin Castro goes on leave as MLB investigates an alleged domestic incident.

What are some records to watch in the second half?

The Twins offer Byron Buxton $70 million, and they’ll trade him if he rejects it.

This trade deadline could break up the “almost” dynasty of the Cubs.

Ashley MacLennan at Fangraphs makes the case for more baseball movies for kids.

The NBA will have a play-in tournament again next year.

Travis Kelce explains that we’ve been pronouncing his name wrong this entire time.

A new documentary of Anthony Bourdain uses artificial intelligence to recreate his voice, drawing backlash.

Why space tourism will fall flat.

Minions are now in Minecraft.

Your song of the day is Charles Mingus with Better Git It in Your Soul.