We're into the second week of the season and we're still slogging our way through this shit. Today we're gonna talk about the Royals.
|Gee, thanks gramps. Couldn't splurge on some Werthers?|
So Long: Jeremy Guthrie, Alex Rios, Jonny Gomes, Wandy Rodriguez, Greg Holland
Welcome: Joakim Soria, Dillon Gee, Chien-Ming Wang, Ian Kennedy
Opening Day Lineup
1. Alcides Escobar, SS
2. Mike Moustakas, 3B
3. Lorenzo Cain, CF
4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
5. Kendrys Morales, DH
6. Alex Gordon, LF
7. Salvador Perez, C
8. Omar Infante, 2B
9. Reymond Fuentes, RF
Starting Rotation: Edinson Volquez, Chris Young, Kris Medlen, Yordano Ventura, Ian Kennedy
Setup: Joakim Soria
Closer: Wade Davis
Last year saw the Royals return to the World Series and do the one thing the Cubs could not, dispatch the Mets. On offense the main core stayed in tact from 2014, and in the case of younger stars Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, they took a leap forward in their development. Add in what turned out to be a savvy pick up in DH Kenrdys Morales and the Royals were off and running.
That solid offense coupled with a great defense helped carry what was rather mediocre starting pitching. When Edinson Volquez is your "ace" you're obvious winning games in spite of your rotation. KC's bullpen was another strong point however and often locked things down when their offense came up with some much needed run support. The fact that setup man/closer Wade Davis won 8 games is saying something. That's more than Danny Duffy and he made 24 starts.
So now it's 2016 and they've got a ring. Can they repeat? Sure, why not? They managed to win last year and the formula hasn't changed. The main lineup is pretty much the same save for no more Alex Rios, which isn't a bad thing. Once Jarrod Dyson comes back from injury he should fill that hole fine. Re-signing Alex Gordon this offseason was a solid move and one that I think speaks volumes of this organization. It tells their fans that they're committed to winning for the long haul. The rotation is still sort of a hot mess, but if Yordano Ventura can mature a bit more he'll do well. Volquez and Kennedy are serviceable enough. The magic appears to have worn off Chris Young however. But if Kris Medlen can come around and either Dillon Gee or Chien-Ming Wang have something in the tank they should hold their own again. Enough at least to get to that bullpen which once again will be one of the best in the league. Wade Davis replaces Greg Holland as an elite closer and former longtime KC closer Joakim Soria has returned to set him up. Luke Hochevar, who was once laughable as a starting pitcher has emerged as a pretty damn good reliever.
The Royals should be in line to make another run for the postseason but will certainly have their work cut out for them. They're a classic small-market makes good story, and unlike the Pirates, they're not in the Cubs division so I don't hate their fucking guts.
Reason to Watch: Eric Hosmer. Long touted as a superstar in the making, Hosmer is just now starting to fill out those big shoes folks made for him. He's won 3 consecutive Gold Gloves and posted career bests last season in runs, RBI, and OPS. Now entering his age 26 season, Hosmer is just reaching his peak years.
|Volquez's fivehead is on point.|
Me: "Who is that pitching? Dan Reichert?"Despite the hostile first impression I talked to the guy some more as well as some other folks there. They all followed the Royals intensely and would take a bullet for their team no matter how awful they were. Keep in mind this was 2002 as well. They lost 100 games that year and had been dogshit for nearly a decade at that point. These folks lived and died by their team no matter what and I couldn't have been more impressed. Things definitely got worse before they got better too, but now that they've become relevant again, there's an entire city more than eager to embrace them, and that's pretty cool to see.
Dude: "Yeah, and he's pitching well. You got a problem with that?"
Me: "Uh, no. I was just asking."
Their Worst Contract: Not a whole lot of contracts here I'd call bad at all. That Ian Kennedy deal is probably the most excessive and probably won't be of much value in the last couple years. But even then at most it's $16.5 million a year.
Fantasy Standout: Eric Hosmer. He's pretty good.
|I think this will really resonate with the Millennials|
Wait, where the fuck was I going with this?