How Bad is the Royals Offense?

A lot has been said about the much-maligned Royals bullpen, but the offense has been really bad, too. Add the two together, and it's no wonder the team is 7-21 and just endured their worst April (7-19) in franchise history, and matched their worst start in franchise history (5-20). Just how bad has the offense been? While Mike Moustakas and Jorge Soler continue to have excellent years, that is about where this feel good story ends. Whit Merrifield and Abraham Almonte are holding their own and deserve a pass from criticism as well, but the rest….well…   LOOK AT THAT! The Royals are actually STACKED with offensive leaders right!!???? Wrong. When sorting by "OFF" according to Fangraphs, the Royals managed to place 3 players inside the top 21 worse offensive players in all of baseball. Alcides Escobar also manages to clock in at No. 37 on today's countdown as well. Want it to look worse? How about if we just do the American League only…. SWEET HEAVEN…..MY EYES! MAKE IT STOP! [Read more...]

Alex Gordon Continues to Hurt the Royals

In early 2016, the Kansas City Royals extended the contract of Alex Gordon for another 4 years and an additional $72 million. At the time, there was hesitation, but mostly it was met with postive reaction. The problem with free agent contracts, however, is that you are more often than not paying for what a player has already done, HOPING they can continue to do the same. In the case of Alex Gordon, it has been a disaster. So far, Alex is 210 games and 825 plate appearances into his new deal. During that stretch, he has managed a paltry .210/.302/.347 (MY EYES MY EYES!!) slash line. If his .649 OPS weren't already bad enough, the hits just keep on coming as he is actually seeming to regress more. This season, Gordon is sitting with a .580 OPS and is hitting .194/.286/.294. To put that in laymen terms, Chris Getz hit .248/.305/.295 during his 4 year stint with the Royals. That's right……Alex Gordon has signed a monster contract, and turned into the offensive equivalent of an aging Chris [Read more...]

The Royals are getting the band back together?

If Jake and Elwood Blues taught us anything, it is that no matter what, a group of guys can always come back together and acheive great things. The Royals most likely will not be saving any Catholic Orphanages down the stretch in their bid for the playoffs, but they can still conjure up one last great run just like in the old days. The Royals are putting the band back together f Jake and Elwood Blues taught us anything, it is that no matter what, a group of guys can always come back together and acheive great things.  The Royals most likely will not be saving any Catholic Orphanages down the stretch in their bid for the playoffs, but they can still conjure up one last great run just like in the old days. The Royals are putting the band back together. Lorenzo Cain showed up to spring training without even having someone to play catch with. Now he has a slash line of .282/.360/.459 and has suddenly found a new home run swing, blasting 6 in his last 11 games and [Read more...]

For one night, Eric Skoglund made Royals baseball fun again

As Eric Skoglund walked off of the mound, every faithful Royals fan in attendance and those following along on radio and TV knew they had just witnessed something special. Eric Hosmer said the crowd ovation and tip of the cap to the crowd gave him "goosebumps." Manager Ned Yost told Skoglund to listen to walk slow and take it all in, that the crowd would let him know how he did. Skoglund's dad cried in the crowd. Its truly not often in baseball that a fan has these sorts of moments, but this was undeniably one of them. That game will certainly be remembered. The 24-year old left-hander went up against one of the best pitchers of this era in Justin Verlander, and delivered one for the ages with 6.1 innings of scoreless work en route to a 1-0 Royals victory, made possible by a timely hit from Eric Hosmer - who has a MLB-best 67 go-ahead RBI over the last three seasons. These types of games have the flavor Royals fans remember feeling during the 2014 and 2015 seasons which were filled [Read more...]

Royals are failing Mondesi, not the other way around

Anyone can watch Raul Mondesi at the plate this season and realize he is not comfortable standing in against Major League pitching. Not yet anyway. This is no secret, no giant debate, no conspiracy or "hawt take." The guy just isn't quite ready yet. But we KNEW this……..Didn't we?  In 2016 in 150 plate appearances, Mondesi posted a batting line of .185/.231/.512 for an OPS+ of 36. It doesn't take Bill James running the numbers to figure out that he was not very good at the plate. Coupled with 48 strikeouts, he looked uncomfortable and not ready then, just the same as he has in his first 50 plate appearances this season. Flashy spring training aside, he is still the same struggling 21 year old prospect who some day will be a superstar, but has yet to master the final level of competition. So why the anger NOW? Why are Royals fans so upset with watching him flail as though it is something totally unexpected? Just how much expectation did fans have for a guy with 14 games of experience [Read more...]

Just cancel the season

It's a matter of minutes before the Royals will take on the Twins in the third game of the season-opening series. But, after losing the first two games by a combined score of 16-2, walking 18 batters, allowed two 6-run innings and registering just seven hits (.122 AVG), they might as well not even play today. Or the rest of the season. Just, shut it down. As the seasons first series comes to a close, we reflect back and observe the first two games offering up what seemed like closure. It is true that they signaled the beginning of the 2017 regular season, but they just as definitively ushered in the swan song of a dying era. With a crashing thud, the Royals managed to dash the hopes and dreams of fans and front office alike. With not one single aspect of the club operating as it should, (sans "Bury Me a Royal" Danny Duffy's performance) the players have begun their victory lap much as a retired player far past his prime waves to the crowd before his final game. While the legend is [Read more...]

Are the Royals REALLY interested in Brett Lawrie?

According to ESPN Analyst Jim Bowden, the Royals are one of a handful of teams to express interest in free agent second baseman Brett Lawrie. Royals fans most notably remember Lawrie from his brush with the team in 2015 when he slid hard into second base and took out Alcides Escobar. Yordano Ventura then retaliated the next day by drilling Lawrie with a fastball. Lawrie then went on to criticize the Royals players and fans alike following the incident, galvanizing him as a villain in the eyes of Kansas City forever. This is of particular note if for no other reason than the Royals have had more of a personal reason to dislike Brett Lawrie than of the typical "bad apple" types discussed as possibilities to fill holes in the past. Kansas City fans genuinely dislike the guy. Which is why this news seems particularly strange given that the Royals front office has seemingly been very keen on building a team around chemistry and clubhouse character. They have made it a point to make it [Read more...]

Vegas has spoken: Royals face long odds to win it all in 2017

After a disappointing 2016 campaign that saw the Royals finish a mediocre 81-81, fans in Kansas City have tempered hopes that 2017 might be the season that gets this team back on track. Much of the thinking is the Royals were simply out of gas after two straight seasons of reaching and eventually winning the World Series. With the goal having been achieved, it would be natural to find it hard to carry on the same motivation the following year, thus the simple explanation for the Royals decline. There were, of course, many more reasons than just that. Disappointing performances from many offensive players. A decline in the Royals other worldly bullpen and of course the inability to find a capable fifth starter. The question now of course is can the Royals over come these deficiencies in the upcoming year after losing even more pieces this offseason after the departures of Edinson Volquez, Wade Davis and Kendrys Morales? Can this core of players once again play at a level more on par [Read more...]

How the New CBA Affects the Royals – new QO Rules, International Cap

It was announced late Wednesday that Major League Baseball and the Players Union have agreed on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Amid several rumors and speculations leading up to the final product, it remains mostly in tact from the previous CBA. Some changes of note include the increasing of the Luxury cap and a restructure in the penalties for going over the cap. Beginning in 2017, teams will begin paying luxury taxes on payrolls over $195 million. A number that certainly should not have any impact on the 2017 Royals. They have also placed a cap on the amount teams can spend on international spending at $6 million. ($5 million being reported by some sources). While the Royals have been active in the international market in the past, they have never been lavish spenders, so this may actually be to their benefit, if anything. With the Royals having a number of free agents coming up at the conclusion of the 2017 season, one particular area of interest was the topic of draft [Read more...]

Computers Continue to Hate The Royals

Its that time of year again, when we all sit back and digest our teams chances of making the playoffs. The only problem is, there are dozens of varying opinions on just how legitimate of a shot any given team has. The saber driven websites such as Baseball Prospectus and Fangraphs base their percentages on a more scientific approach geared towards an objective interpretation of what a team is and how they got there. They use numbers, trends, expected player performances, scheduling and many other variables that can be quantified by simple numbers. This often leads to things like the Royals being projected as a measly 72-win team in the PECOTA preseason projections. A win total that almost any human could tell you was most likely false. But, there the Royals were, at 51-58 just 22 games ago. A lot of things have changed since then, with the Royals going 18-4 since, climbing within 2 games of the second Wild Card spot. But, for a number of reasons, MOST computers do not like the [Read more...]