The Kansas City Royals are one of the most depressing teams in baseball. They knew it was coming but a World Champion just three years ago, are now on the verge of losing 100 plus games because a majority of their talent that won them the championship has suddenly vanished and are now in new towns, rocking new uniforms. A once promising dynasty is now a sad place with washed up players and it it a shame because Kansas City is an amazing place to play baseball. Now do they have the talent? Of course the big question is however, how much of an impact will the talented guys have and just how bad will this team be?
A big factor that will either lead to success or failure for the Royals in 2018 will be the production from their pitching staff. The Royals rotation is led by the southpaw from SoCal, Danny Duffy. I am actually a huge fan of Duffy’s. I think he is one of the bright spots of the Royals team coming into the season and think he is going to have a successful 2018 campaign. Duffy is complimented by an 11 year veteran in Ian Kennedy who is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career; one of which he had a measly 5-13 record with a 5.38 ERA. It is clear that Kennedy is way past his prime and you should not expect anything big to come from Kennedy in 2018. At the 3, the Royals trot out Jason Hammel, a veteran from South Carolina, who is coming off of a miserable season, where he finished with a 8-13 record and a 5.29 ERA. Hammel has no business to be a 3 in a starting rotation, but the Royals literally have no one else to put in the slot. At the 4 and the 5, the Royals have a pair of no names in the likes of Jake Junis and Jesse Hahn who I would be begging to see on a Sunday afternoon. Besides Duffy who is the light of this starting rotation’s dark, dark tunnel, this pitching staff is just poor and might be one of the worst in the majors.
An offense that was once loaded by guys like Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas (who has re-signed) are now a disheveled, boring offense coming into 2018. You know you are going to have a long year when you have guys like Cheslor Cuthbert, Jorge Bonifacio (who is suspended for 80 games), and Paulo Orlando in your starting lineup. That being said, the Royals offense does have some positives. They have a wildly talented lead off hitter in the likes of Whit Merrifield who is coming off of an impressive 2017 season. The young talent finished the year with a .288 BA, drove in 78 runs and swiped 34 bags. The Royals also improved their lineup in the offseason with the acquisitions of Jorge Soler and Lucas Duda. While both guys don’t scream superstar, they have pop in their bats and will drive in runs. The leader of this offense and I believe the leader of this team is the catcher with the infectious smile, Salvador Perez. I am one of the biggest Salvy fans you will find and I think he is one of the many reasons that make the game so fun to watch. Salvy is coming off of a season where he batted .268, drove in 80 runs and hit 27 big flies. Perez is one of the better power hitting catchers in the majors and I think he will have a 30-100 2018 year. To cap off this lineup is two veterans who the city of Kansas City would die for, Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon. Both these guys have made their home Kansas City and are one of the few pieces left from their 2015 championship run. Although I don’t think these guys will be too productive with their bats during the season, they will both field the ball extremely well and will give fans a reason to smile. A smile that will be much needed during the long, painful season they are about to endure.
Overall, this Kansas Royals team is flat out bad, no two ways about it. They have some talent but not NEARLY enough to compete in the major leagues where the talent is at an all time high. The only positive thing I can say about this ball club is that they have a really good farm system so they will not be THAT BAD for that long. That being said, this season is not going to be one they want to remember. I have this team finishing with a 65-97 record. The K that is so accustomed to being loud and filled with high spirits are going to spend a summer in silence and misery.