I’m watching the pregame for the world series and wondering WHY FOX HAS A.J. Pierzynski AS A PREGAME ANALYST, GAH!!!…I can’t stand that dude.
During the month of June, yet another highly touted prospect’s train pulled into the big league station. Unfortunately, he joined the Royals in what would prove to be their worst month of the season. The Royals started the month 6 games back of .500 (24-30) and ended the month 15 games back of .500 (33-48). This is the month that destroyed most Royals’ fans hope of competing in the division. On the other hand, there were three highly touted prospects getting a lot of playing time in Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Danny Duffy, so the games were still intriguing to watch.
June 1st- June 30th
(At least 3 games started)
Still struggling, but this month was about the emergence of Felipe Paulino. Paulino averaged almost 6.1 innings per start, striking out 7.78 per 9 while walking just under 2.5 per 9. Paulino was a pleasant surprise that we had managed to obtain for cash considerations from Colorado. Unfortunately, the rest of the rotation struggled and didn’t get a lot of help from the offense.
June MVP(s) of the month (SP): Felipe Paulino- See above. It was still early, but it looked like the Royals had gotten away with a steal.
June Ugly Duckling(s) of the month (SP): Danny Duffy- He was exciting to watch but he was definitely showed his youth this month with a K/9 less than 3 while walking 4 per game. If you want to be EFFECTIVELY wild, you have to strike out more guys than you walk.
“Keep on Keepin’ on.” This was the motto of Royals bullpen. Soria started to figure things out while Collins, Teaford, and Adcock struggled a bit. Holland, Crow, and Coleman were all really good, each posting an E.R.A. under 2 and double digit K/9. This was definitely still the team’s strength.
June MVP(s) of the month (RP): Joakim Soria/Greg Holland - Soria has to be listed here, just because he figured out a way to stop blowing games and had a stellar June. Holland struck out a ridiculous 13.09 per 9 innings while walking 1.64 per 9 innings. You don’t get much better than that.
June Ugly Duckling(s) of the month (RP): Tim Collins - This really was a toss up between Collins, Adcock, and Teaford, but I’ll give it to Collins simply because he averaged the same number of walks and strikeouts per 9 innings. And the number was above 5.
Avg./OBP/SLG/OPS with at least 40 plate appearances
It was a so-so month offensively. There were two rookies trying to adjust to big-league pitching and the offense struggled a bit due to their lack of experience. There’s really not much more to it than that.
June MVP(s) of the month (Offensive): Billy Butler- He hit over .300 and had an OBP over .400…..Billy being Billy.
June Ugly Duckling(s) of the month (Offensive): Jeff Francoeur- He hit .235 and had an OBP under .280….gross. The offseason signing was not looking so good at this point. Good grief, Jeff, don’t you know how to take a walk?
Starting Pitching – Still pretty bad, but Paulino was a nice surprise. We really struggled to get innings out our starting pitchers*. If your starters can’t do anything but give you 5 innings a start, you’re going to overwork your bullpen, which has been a theme for the 2011 Royals.
Relief Pitching – The bullpen was able to get a much-needed gasp of air this month but it wasn’t because the starters were producing 7 inning starts. In all honesty it’s a mystery to me.
Hitting - The ascension of Moustakas was exciting to see. He’d had some initial struggles in AAA and despite being projected to hit the bigs before Hosmer, he had to wait until a month after Hosmer’s call-up. He began with expected MLB growing pains, but no one could deny that the youth of the Royals infield made watching the games a lot of fun.
Overall – The Royals spent an extensive part of this month in interleague play and didn’t fare well against the National League going 3-9. Unfortunately, that was the story of the entire month and the Royals ended up 9-18 in the month of June and 33-48 for the season.
It was hard watching the Royals fall apart in June. Most people gave up on them. Even writing this post was depressing and it may have been as much for you to read it. In fact, you might be so depressed that you don’t want to keep reading these season-summarizing posts. But, if you were able to get through the Royals seasons, can’t you make it through the summary?
I promise it gets better.