The All-Star break couldn’t have come at a better time for the Royals, who are struggling to find ways to win games, heading into the break at 37-54 , 11.5 games back in the AL central. The next couple of days will have the home run derby and the other All-Star festivities that will get people in Kansas City excited, not because all of our young talent will be on showcase, but because this time next year, the annual summer classic will be here in our back yard. The game will bring in millions of dollars of revenue for the KC metro area and will no doubt be a great time. That is about as positive as I’m going to get with this one.
Friday night, I arrive at the game and realize how insulted I was by what the Royals expected people to pay for. Kyle Davies threw out the first pitch and Chris Getz was leading off. It is amazing we are not further behind if that’s what the Royals are running out there. Your telling me, that the guy starting the game has an era of 7.74 and the lead off guy is hitting .259 with 0 HR, slugging an impressive .291, wow, now that’s a recipe for success if I’ve ever seen one.
Sorry for the sarcasm and if it sounds like I’m just an irritated fan whose hit his annual boiling point with the Royals, it is because that is exactly what I am. I try year in and year out to be as positive as I can be with this perennial loser of a baseball team that Dayton Moore runs out there game after game and expects a city to get behind. It gets harder and harder as the summer goes on to stay positive and optimistic about years to come. If we truly are supposed to believe we are playing for the future, then somebody please try and rationalize why Kyle “The Pitching Machine” Davies is starting on my team and why Chris “Nancy Boy” Getz is hitting lead off. If you can somehow sell me on the logic of that, you could sell me a ketchup popsicle while I was wearing white gloves. You just can’t make that argument make winning baseball sense.
The Royals brass will keep shoving that just wait for the future talk that we have been fed a steady diet of for the last 8 years, but its time they pony up and they actually buy into what they are selling themselves. If you are going to sell me on wait for the future, then show me the future. Explain to me why Chris Getz is batting lead-off while we have the Pacific Coast League player of the month down at Triple-A hitting over .320 and leading the team in RBI’s at his same position. Is the answer, because Chris Getz is a cornerstone piece of our future? If so, then consider me done as a Royals supporter. Chris Getz would clear waivers easily, but yet the Royals see him as a 1-hole hitter, laughable.
Why Getz is an everyday player and Davies continues to get starts is beyond comprehensible. But these are just the two most glaring reasons why the Royals are stuck where they are. The Royals are like an ice berg, Davies and Getz are the tip of the ice berg that’s sticking out of the water that everyone can see and is afraid of. But the thing about ice bergs is that the real threat is hidden under the water and the Royals have lots of issues hiding under the surface. I use the ice reference because it is glaringly obvious the franchise should steer clear of the tip, but they need to become aware of the hidden mountain under the water, the foundation that is causing problems.
To all of you Billy Butler guys out there who contest he shouldn’t be moved, be aware that he has participated in just 5 more runs than Alcides Escobar. What I mean by that is combine runs scored and runs driven in and Butler has combined for 74 and Escobar 69. So for all of you guys who were tearing Escobar apart earlier in the season for not being able to hit, realize that your prize Butler isn’t all that much more productive. He may get on base a little more, but Butler getting on base is like getting in field goal range at 60 yards. It’s possible, but chances aren’t likely you will score. Butler is not something to be overly concerned about, but a DH who can’t run, can’t field and has 6 HR at the break is a contributing factor as to why the Royals are double digits out of first.
Now, I’m not going to start ripping Matt Treanor or Bryan Pena, because they have been good defensively and unless you have a Buster Posey or Brian McCann type player behind the dish, you aren’t really expecting too much. Obviously neither guy is going to be around the team in three years, but until we have a major league ready catcher to replace them, no point in ranting on. Salvador Perez isn’t ready yet, but soon.
Don’t get me wrong the Royals offense has done some good things so far this season. They are 4th in the league in hits and 10th in runs scored. All of the Royals outfielders have 11 or more HR and 50 or more RBI, so production from that area of the diamond is decent. Alex Gordon has been the brightest thing thus far, who is on track to hit about .305 21 HR and 100 RBI, in my projections. Eric Hosmer has displayed good power and will only continue to get better and who will definitely be the new owner of the Royals rookie home run record, a measly 14.
But let me get back on track, just had to throw in a couple curve balls of positive vibes in there to get some of you Royals fans to step back from the ledge.
The Royals starting pitching has been about as cool as the guy still sporting the fanny pack with the Jorts, the knee high socks and the hair cut that screams business in the front and party in the back. Luke Hochevar has probably been the most consistent. Consistently bad that is. Luke seems to be great through 3 innings and then seems to unravel in a very Davies like fashion the second and third times through the order. That is supposed to be the number 1 guy. Hochevar; 19 starts, 5.46 ERA 60/38 K/BB and given up 16 home runs. You show me a team that their number 1 guy has lines like that and I’ll show you a last place team.
The Royals are 27th in team ERA, 27th in quality starts, 29th in opponent’s average and have given up 22 more hits than everyone else in baseball. These stats are exactly why the Royals are bad and getting worse. Starting pitching has to be improved. The other teams that are at or below the Royals team rankings are Chicago Cubs, Houston and Baltimore. The other bad teams in baseball right now, so it is glaringly obvious that to be able to compete in this game, you have to have quality starts. When the Royals get quality starts, they have a great chance to win the game with how solid the bullpen has been. The problem lies with getting the ball to the pen.
With no help on the way, I can’t give you any optimistic approach to how the Royals will compete in the second half of the season. So until the Royals go into fire sale mode to acquire some starting pitching, there is no reason to believe they will get better. So here is one Royals fan that is truly pessimistic about any chances of the second half of the season getting any better. I wish there was. Please believe me when I say that. I’m usually one of the optimists no matter how bad it gets, but this organization has sucked all the possible optimism right out of me by subjecting me to the realization that my team is ok with starting Kyle Davies and batting Chris Getz lead off.