Photo Courtesy of Minda Haas

Royals Links: Yordano Ventura, Mike Jirschele, Bruce Chen, & More

One more week. We only have one more week before the Royals open their season in Detroit against Justin Verlander and the Tigers. The team continues to trim its roster prior to the exhibition games in Milwaukee later this week, and the excitement around the upcoming season continues to build. Just thinking about this team taking the field in a game that actually matters is enough for me to break into a sweat and start breathing heavily. I may have a problem. Let’s just get to some links from the last few days.

Yordano Ventura didn’t have his best stuff yesterday against the Giants, but he was able to limit the opposition to just 1 run in 5 innings of work, due in part to a mechanical adjustment at the direction of Dave Eiland. Dick Kaegel has the story at MLB.com, and it includes some quotes about Ventura’s day on the mound. Also of note, Ned Yost referred to the young righty as “Yo.” So that’s something.

– Chris Jones wrote a feature for ESPN The Magazine on Royals’ coach Mike Jirschele, who spent the previous 11 years managing the Omaha Storm Chasers. This article is exceptional, and it details Jirschele’s childhood, all the hardships his family went through, and his long, long, 36-year-road to make it to the big leagues. I cannot recommend this piece enough.

Aaron Reese of KC Kingdom continued his look at the Royals’ offseason moves, this time breaking down the re-signing of Bruce Chen. Reese admits the signing isn’t bad on its face, but the cost to bring Chen on board – both the financial cost, and the following Emilio Bonifacio saga – brings the grade for this move down significantly.

– According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Ramon Hernandez has exercised the opt-out clause in his contract, making him free to sign a big league deal with any team. Hernandez came into camp with a decent chance of claiming the backup catcher job, but injuries have held him back. Brett Hayes appears to have locked up his spot on the roster.

– At FanGraphs, Jeff Sullivan discussed bunting and brought up some surprising numbers regarding bunt attempts. According to the data, hitters trying to bunt only put the ball in play about 50% of the time. With the prevalence of defensive shifts around baseball, it could be interesting to see if more players try to lay down a few more bunts in an effort to beat the shift.

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