All spring long we heard that the Royals needed a fast start to the season…
For starters, just to be in the race and secondly so they wouldn’t be tempted to unload a couple of core players before the draft deadline in order to get something for them instead of losing them when their contract expires at season’s end.
Most notably that would include Eric Hosmer, who although he’s never been a superstar, he is a star. Plus he was clutch in playoffs in 2014 and 2015 and is the face of this team’s core group.
The Royals wanted to be more of a power team with home runs.
For example, they added Brandon Moss. Thus far though we’ve seen the problem with power hitting as a means of scoring. That being lots of strike outs, and not getting the ball into play with men on base as much. And if you don’t get enough home runs often, you lose.
Example: the Royals are second in the majors in homers, yet in last place at 2 and 5.
The big issue’s been simply no offense.
The Royals are hitting right at .200 as a team, but core stars like Hosmer are under .200. Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon have done next to nothing at the plate. Oh, Cain walks a lot.
Sal Perez and Moose have provided power and decent hitting but far from enough to balance the rest of the line ups dead bats.
Royals starting pitching has been very good – good enough to win every game thus far – but our bullpen’s been up and down. And that’s not good enough to be a playoff team.
The answer to the Royals’ problems?
START HITTING and move the base runners. This team had speed and in spots still does, so use it.
What made the 2014 and 2015 Royals so deadly on offense was putting pressure on the other team’s defense by putting the ball in play so often and running the bases.
The Royals never had that .320, 35 homers, 120 RBI guy – not since the George Brett era, anyway.
But hey, it’s early. There’s lots of season to go and things can change in a blink.
This team has always been streaky. However if we get into June and are five games or more under .500 the farm might start the sale. The words we don’t want to hear are REBUILD, that usually means struggles for seasons to come.