State of the Royals
Well, ok then, I guess we’re in this thing.¬† Since the last State of the Royals installment the Royals have gone 5-2, which entailed winning a four game series versus the Boston Red Sox, and splitting the first two games in a three game series versus the Miami Marlins.¬† The Royals spent roughly 24 hours in 2nd place of the AL Central until last night’s loss to the Marlins.¬† As of now, the Royals are¬†1/2 game out of second place in the AL Central, 4 games out of the Wild Card, and 6 1/2 games behind the Detroit Tigers for first place in the division.
Fan Anxiety Index (see below): GREEN
The Injury Bug
The injury bug is biting the Royals at the most inopportune time.¬† Their spark plug, Miguel Tejada, is on the DL with a calf injury.¬† Their Gold-Glove caliber center fielder, Lorenzo Cain, is on the DL with a strained oblique.¬† Salvador Perez just returned from a stint on the 7-day DL/Concussion list.¬† Mike Moustakas is nursing a calf injury, and may not play again until the Detroit series. (Note: It is being reported that Moustakas is now in a walking boot,which would likely indicate an extended absence.)
Those are three pretty important pieces, especially when you look at who is replacing them: Chris Getz for Miguel Tejada, Jarrod Dyson for Lorenzo Cain, and Jamey Carroll for Mike Moustakas.¬† Yes, that means at some point, the opposing pitcher is likely to face Getz, Dyson and Carroll sequentially.¬† In other words, easy outs.¬†
In a move that surprised no one, the Royals opted to replace the injured Miguel Tejada with Chris Getz who was just getting off the DL.¬† Not only that, but the Tejada injury also seemed to spark the Royals decision to trade for Jamey Carroll.¬† Yes, 39 year old, .223 hitting, that Jamey Carroll.¬†
These moves also signaled that the Royals weren’t ready to chance it with the hot hitting Christian Colon from AAA Omaha.¬† In his last 24 games, Colon is boasting a slash line of: .355 Avg/.429 OBP/.570 SLG/.998 OPS, with 5 home runs.¬† Admittedly, Colon had a pretty pedestrian, if not awful, April-June.¬† He’s been a different player in July and August, and over that span (roughly 145 AB’s), he’s posted a .331 average, clubbed 5 of his 11 homeruns, and been effective at getting on base (16 walks).
So, why weren’t the Royals ready for Colon?¬† The word I’m hearing is “experience”.¬† The Royals evidently really value the experience that Chris Getz (and Carroll) bring to the table.¬† What kind of experience are we talking about?¬† The mere fact that Getz has put on a MLB uniform, and played in MLB games?¬† Because surely we’re not placing an elevated value on Getz’s experience of logging 1336 MLB¬†AB’s, while posting a .252 Avg./.310 OBP/.312 SLG, right?¬† To relate it across the parking lot, this would be akin to the Chiefs bringing back Matt Cassel, not addressing the QB position in the offseason, and saying¬† they value his experience.¬† There simply has to be more to it than this, because this doesn’t pass the sniff test.¬† I hate to be the one to remind people, but despite how well the Royals are doing lately, there’s still little chance of making the playoffs.¬† With that in mind, why not try out Colon to see what you have going forward?¬† He honestly couldn’t be much worse than Getz, and if he is, then you know your organization is completely void of¬†a MLB-ready second baseman, and need to address that in the offseason.¬† My fear is that the Royals will compound this mistake by gambling on Colon in 2014 without much of a preview in 2013.
For the Royals, the playoffs start Thursday evening in Detroit.¬† Thursday marks game one of a five game series versus the division leading Detroit Tigers.¬† This is going to be a tough series for a lot of reasons: a) Injuries for KC, b) Ervin Santana will not pitch in this series, c) Royals not dodging any of the Tigers big arms (Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Anibal Sanchez), and d) the series is in Detroit…which is bankrupt…which means the Royals will have to sleep on their team bus.¬†
Anyway, this is a prime opportunity for the Royals to truly make a statement that they’re in this race.¬† Not only for the Wild Card, but for the AL Central.¬† I can’t even dream of sweeping all five games, but taking three would be nice.¬† Taking four would get everyone’s attention.¬† At the very worst, the Royals¬† must take two of these games.¬† I fear anything less than that would be irreparable damage.¬†
This is the biggest series for the Kansas City Royals in the last 10 years.¬† Win this, and we’ll be saying that a lot more this season.¬† This is your playoffs, Kansas City.
I guess I’ve never really looked at myself in this manner, but I’m a blogger.¬† I blog (whatever the hell that means) about the Kansas City Royals.¬† My passion is baseball, and the Royals are my hometown team.¬† The Royals, good or bad, are very dear to my heart, and I’m so thankful to live in a geographic area in which MLB has a team I can call my own.¬† I’m also thankful to be a part of the Pine Tar Press site.
I’m putting this out there because I’ve noticed a lot of discord between fans and bloggers, bloggers and bloggers, fans and fans, etc.¬†¬† Seems like odd timing for that, considering what the Royals have been doing.¬† Anyway, I just want to make it clear that I write from a fan perspective.¬† Surely it’s obvious that I’m no sabermetric guru, or spreadsheet junkie. My background is playing and coaching, but I’m¬†no expert…on anything, really.¬† In writing from a fan’s perspective, it means I’m going to voice frustration/excitement with the club, and it means I’m going to have a differing opinion than some of you from time to time.¬† By nature, I’m kind of a blunt person, so if you disagree with what I have to say, I’m actually¬†fine with that.¬† It¬†makes for good discussion.¬† On the other hand, if something I write personally¬†insults you, that certainly isn’t my aim, and I’m not¬†fine with that.¬†¬†Feel free to call me out on it, because I’d love an opportunity to clear the air.¬† Just do so with some tact.¬†I’ve discovered some are good at giving feedback, via direct message on Twitter, and others are not.¬† The comments section below is a good outlet for those concerns, as well as emailing me personally.¬† I appreciate those of you that take time to read my thoughts, and enjoy (for the most part) the banter on Twitter, or in person.¬†
3 Points of Light:
- Billy Butler-¬† Last week I had him on the naughty list (3 Red Flags).¬† It wasn’t because he was awful, but because he wasn’t being Billy¬†Butler, and for this team to make any kind of run, he’s going to have to be Billy¬†freaking Butler. ¬†He’s really turned it around since the All-Star break, and is returning to form during this Royals hot stretch.¬† Since the All-Star break:¬†.352¬†Avg/.420 OBP/.523 SLG/.943 OPS.¬†
- Justin Maxwell-¬†¬†So far he’s been quite¬†a valuable addition.¬† Considering the¬†injuries to¬†Cain and¬†David Lough,¬†he has stepped in admirably.¬† In 25 AB’s with Kansas City: .400 Avg/.464 OBP/.840 SLG/1.304 OPS.
- Bruce Chen-¬† He truly has been a master of pitching since returning to the Royals rotation.¬† If the Royals plan really was to return him to the rotation all along, it is looking like a brilliant move.¬† As a starter, over the course of 38.2 innings, Chen’s ERA is .93.¬† His performances have been other-worldly considering the lack of velocity that he’s working with.¬†
3 Red Flags:
- Chris Getz-¬† He’s baaaaack.¬† Can’t imagine this will end well.
- Lorenzo Cain-¬† It is probably pretty nitpicky of me to put him on this list, but the health issues are a concern.¬† The guy has needed a break about once a week since the beginning of the season, and is still getting hurt.¬† On top of that, there were significant concerns about his durability in previous seasons.¬† When he plays, he plays a sterling center field, but he obviously doesn’t do us much good on the DL.¬†
- Ned Yost-¬† I really don’t have much of a problem with what he’s been doing during this hot stretch for the Royals.¬† I do, however, remember Milwaukee.¬† The Brewers actually fired Yost¬†during a run at the playoffs because of poor decision-making.¬† There have been some odd decisions on leaving pitchers in the game (Jeremy Guthrie v. Red Sox), and he’s floating some pretty quirky (awful) lineups.¬† He’s on this list (as is everyone) as a precautionary measure.
3 Point Plan:
- Play up-¬† To me, it looks like the Royals have grown somewhat comfortable in being a winning team.¬† That’s great.¬† In this Miami series, however, it looks like they’re playing down to their competition.¬† At times, they’ve been pretty sloppy on defense.¬† On the contrary, when they played the Red Sox, the Royals were on point and focused.¬† To have any chance in the series versus Detroit, they’re going to have to mirror what they did against the Red Sox–play up to your competition (and maybe hope the Tigers play down to theirs).
- Exploit their weaknesses-¬† What weaknesses, right?¬† Despite all the riches the Tigers have, the Royals do hold an advantage in defensive range, team speed, and the¬†bullpen.¬†¬†The recipe: (Much easier said than done)Keep them in the ballpark, make the most of the times you get on base against them (Yes, score, but I also mean run.¬† Take the extra base, steal, etc.), find a way to chase their starters somewhat early,¬†hand¬†the game¬†off to your lockdown bullpen, and success shall be ours.
- Channel your inner Sparky Anderson-¬† It has been mentioned a lot in the past, and I believe I heard it on last night’s Royals telecast, and that is that Sparky Anderson managed in a way that he wasn’t going to allow ‘Superman’ to beat him.¬† By ‘Superman’ he meant¬†George Brett when¬†Anderson managed the Tigers.¬† You wouldn’t hear a complaint out of me if the Royals refused to give Miguel Cabrera anything to hit…ever.¬† Make someone else beat you.
ROYALS FAN ANXIETY INDEX:
GREEN- I LIKE WHAT YOU’VE DONE HERE.
BLUE- OK, THAT SUCKED, BUT THEY CAN BOUNCE BACK.¬† RIGHT?!
PURPLE- HERE WE GO AGAIN. #FACEPALM
ORANGE- THIS IS LIKE WATCHING A THREE LEGGED CAT TRYING TO BURY A TURD ON A FROZEN POND.
RED- FIRE EVERYONE!¬† I HATE EVERYONE!¬† I HATE THE ROYALS, AND PUPPIES TOO!!
About The Author
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.