Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s okay, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
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This all happened in a hurry. Everyone was wondering what was wrong with the Royals not that long ago, as they were floating around the middle of the AL Central even before they lost Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas to the disabled list -- the latter for the entirety of 2016. Over their last 20 games, though, the Royals went 15-5, shot up the standings, and now find themselves winners of six straight and two games up on the formerly first place White Sox.
The Royals have only scored 10 more runs than they've allowed on the season, but in this stretch, they've outscored opponents by 29 runs. They've hit .303/.350/.442 as a team in these 20 games, with Lorenzo Cain (.360/.410/.560) finally breaking out of his slump at the same time Kendrys Morales started to show some signs of life. Paulo Orlando has also been a huge boost to the team since becoming a regular, and the lineup suddenly looks a whole lot less thin than it did even a few weeks ago.
The starting pitching is still not where it needs to be, with Kansas City posting a 4.76 rotation ERA during this run. If the Royals want to stay on top, they probably still need to add another hitter and absolutely need to add another starter, or else the bullpen is going to be run into the ground before the season is over: Kansas City starters averaged just 5-1/3 innings during these 20 games to go along with that horrid ERA, and that's not going to work all season in what is still a competitive division. Still, they're back on top, and they have most of what they need to stay there. That's huge considering how things looked for them not all that long ago between their record and the injuries.
- Nobody told Trevor Rosenthal the Memorial Day camo jerseys were specifically for Memorial Day.
- White Sox reliever Matt Albers hit a double in extra innings against the Mets, advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored the eventual game-winning run. Baseball is the best.
- If April didn't exist, these are the stories the MLB world would be talking about at the start of June.
- Marlon Byrd failed a second PED test, so he's been suspended for 162 games. To his credit, he actually took responsibility for what he put into his body supposedly without knowing.
- Would you like to read Ken Griffey Jr. telling you about a time he robbed Luis Gonzalez of a home run?
- The NCAA Baseball Tournament has its matchups set, and here are seven we're excited about.
- ESPN put together a formula to determine the most famous athletes in the world, and baseball has a few representatives. Some obvious, some less so.
- The Phillies are rebuilding, and Michael Baumann wrote a few thousand words on the subject if you've got some time.
- Felix Hernandez was placed on the disabled list with a calf strain, and it might have been an injury caused by a dinger celebration.
- Some teams don't have a whole lot to play for in 2016, but don't worry: Red Reporter came up with a reason to care about those teams the rest of the way.
- One of those teams is the Padres, who now have an executive on the radio talking about how embarrassing and pathetic the team is.
- Barry Bonds sat down for a lengthy discussion of his behavior during his playing days, and how he regrets his public image from those times.
- Today's parting gift: one of the better baseball spoonerisms you'll find, courtesy of David Roth.