The Kansas City Royals have lost way too many players from their World Series squads…
Too many for fans to expect the team to perform at its 2014 / 2015 levels.
Think about it…
Gone are Kendrys Morales, Ben Zobrist, Alex Rios, James Shields, Yordano Ventura,Greg Holland, Johnny Cueto, Wade Davis, Jarrod Dyson and Billy Butler to name a few.
One could argue that the Royals biggest error was keeping Alex Gordon.
As opposed to re-signing this past year’s World Series MVP.
Pretty hard to argue that one, given the way Zobrist played vs. a banged up Gordon’s light hitting last season.
Look, it had been 30 years since the Royals mattered in the bigs.
Then bang, two World Series back-to-back with a win in 2015. Very nice.
Royals GM Dayton Moore and manager Ned Yost put together a ballclub based on defense, speed, relief pitching and the bullpen and it worked.
So now what are the Royals to do?
Starting pitching is an issue, as is hitting and the bullpen.
So what exactly will the Royals be great at?
Can just speed and defense win the division or get KC into the playoffs? Not likely.
Moore has added power hitters Brandon Moss and Jorge Soler. Both guys could bust 25 homers this season…well maybe.
Eric Hosmer is likely in his last season with KC and needs a banner year to get that 7-10 year $175 million contract somewhere. So he’ll be all over it right? Sal Perez is one of baseball’s best catchers and the Royals spirit.
So what’s there to worry about? Plenty.
Hitting was light last year and needs to be stronger this season. Lorenzo Cain was hurt and out of the lineup much of the season. And he might be leaving after this year pending the money. Moose is back so we’ll see how he does.
Lots of questions.
Who will replace Ace Ventura?
The Royals were counting on the one-two punch of Danny Duffy and Ventura to lead the starting pitching lineup.
Lots of questions, few answers. Lots of maybes and hopes for the best.
On the other hand, Cleveland is a force and solid. So is Detroit.
Meaning Kansas City may be lucky to finish second or third this year with maybe an outside shot at a wild card. A division title is a big reach.
Will the fans be as excited as they have been the last couple seasons?
Sure, Kansas City is a baseball town and Royals fans are looking forward to April.
But not with the expectations of 2015 and 2016.