Royals fans are used to the grind. But for a few brief periods each season, steady losing is the norm. It can put me in a sour mood on occasion (briefly), but there might be a few bright spots as this season begins its stretch run.
Alex Gordon looks like he might actually be a big league player after all. I admit that I haven’t been a fan of his. He has always looked like a poser to me, attempting to display a self-confidence which wasn’t really there. But he has been coming up with some big hits lately, and instead of cringing when he comes up to bat in a clutch situation, I’m actually happy to see him at the plate these days. He could be a valuable performer for us in the future.
Ned Yost has stated his desire to give Brayan Pena more opportunities behind the plate in the coming weeks. As a Pena fan, I can only say ‘it’s about time.’ He has a better arm than Kendall, and can hit with some power. He has looked feeble at the plate lately, but that’s to be expected when you play once every three weeks or so. We have to find out if he fits into the future plans, and the only way to fairly evaluate him is to put him in the game. His defense appears improved to me, albeit in limited opportunities.
Bruce Chen looks like a cagey old vet to me. I feel like we have a decent chance to win every time he takes the hill. He gives up runs, but seldom in bunches, and he usually keeps the Royals within striking distance. Until the young lefties currently in the minor league system are ready in the next few years, Bruce would be a good guy to keep on the staff.
It’s tough to watch and root for the Royals lately. But given the depth of talent in the minor league system, and the solid pieces already in place (Staff Ace, Shut-Down Closer, Legit #3 Hitter), there are some good reasons to be hopeful. For Royals fans, what else is there? And let’s face it. As hard as it is to watch the team you care most about look hapless and pathetic, no baseball at all sucks even worse.