In the midst of football season a popular phrase we’ve heard from our friends on the other side of the Truman Sports Complex “involves finding” the right 53. The term is about the Kansas City Chiefs having the right 53 players on the roster in which to win a Super Bowl.
In this edition of Operation Offseason Improvement I’ll look at the right 25-man roster that the Kansas City Royals should have as of today. Using the current 40-man roster I’ll slice it down to one which I’d prefer for next spring.
Salvador Perez (1): This face of the franchise was going to make the cut no matter what, he handles the staff great and the team’s win/loss record reflects it. The injury in spring training can be argued for the slow start here’s hoping for health in 2013.
Adam Moore (2): Acquired from the Mariners, Moore got an opportunity at the end of the season. I feel enough was seen to be the back-up next season, this mean that Brayan Pena not being a part of the team next year.
First Base –
Eric Hosmer (3): His offensive sophomore slump is a cause for concern which hopefully can get corrected for next season. Defensively he’s got things to improve on dispute being a top three finisher in the AL 1B Gold Glove.
Billy Butler (4): While a DH let’s admit that Country Breakfast has turned himself into a serviceable first baseman in a pinch. Whether it be in interleague or if Hosmer needs a day off he can play here without the team worry/losing much.
Second Base –
Chris Getz (5): Injuries continue to plague him but despite this I think he’s safe in the eyes of the Royals organization. Fans might not like it but GMDM/Ned Yost like him enough that he’ll be on next year’s roster.
Johnny Giavotella (6): Does he hit enough? Last season he didn’t in the limited sample we got to see. Can he play defense? I’ve never had the doubts that the team seems to continue to recycle about why he isn’t out there more.
Third Base –
Mike Moustakas (7): His second half on offense was concerning but in his first full season I think the benefit of the doubt can be given. On defense he improved to the point that if he can hit a little more, a Gold Glove could be in his future (that and Adrian Beltre leaving the AL).
Alcides Escobar (8): Alcides might’ve made the most improvement on team in terms of offense production from 2011 to 2012. His defensive stats might not be what fans want but he’s among the top in the league but he passes the eye test.
Irving Falu (9): A fan favorite who can play three spots in the infield plus supplies a little pop out of his bat. He seems to be valuable enough to have on the bench this upcoming season.
Alex Gordon (10): “A1” the back-to-back AL left field Gold Glover is one of the faces of the franchise. He continues to improve since changing positions and fulfilling the promise many had for him.
Lorenzo Cain (11): Needs to stay healthy as any fan would tell you but when he’s in the lineup good things happen. His offense and defense are both extremely important to the team as an everyday player.
Jeff Francoeur (12): Probably the most polarizing figure on this list and might be keeping a spot warm for Wil Myers (who isn’t on the 40-man) but again those in charge like him.
Jarrod Dyson (13): Does he have things to fix this offseason? Absolutely. Can they be fixed I think so but most probably want to see his bunting improve so that he can be more effective and get on-base.
Starting Pitching –
Ervin Santana (14): Again, working off the current 40-man the newest Royal will be given every opportunity to be the Opening Day starter. To the Royals credit they’ve done well with guys whom they’ve acquired in-season, fans won’t soon forget Jonathan Sanchez.
Luke Hochevar (15): Consistency, that’s the rally cry that we always hear with this guy but only get in streaks. Will 2013 finally be the season which it all clicks for the former number one pick?
Bruce Chen (16): Great personality who keeps the clubhouse loose and can pitch. Can he improve from this season? Expect him to make these changes during this offseason given how last year went.
Will Smith (17): Big Will showed positive flashes when KC promoted him midseason and expect him to win a spot in the rotation.
Jake Odorizzi (18): Royal fans only got to see Jake-O a few times during the last month of the year. Seeing him in Omaha most of 2012 like Smith I think he’ll go to Surprise and take the last spot in this rotation, should GMDM not be able to swing any more deals or signings.
Louis Coleman (19): Colemen didn’t do enough to in my opinion to lose his spot in the ‘pen. Louis can fill multiple spots as multiple innings, situational or work in mid-relief man.
Tim Collins (20): Everyday Tim has had two good seasons for KC. He’s made 140 appearances as a big leaguer, but at 5’7″, is Ned overusing him? That’s my only concern. He can get outs no matter the situation it seem, throw multiple innings but has increase value being left-handed.
Everett Teaford (21): This is the second lefty out of the bullpen that I’d include but unlike the previously named he can be a longman. Spot starter is another role that Teaford can fulfill which increases his value.
Nathan Adcock (22): Adcock is the righthanded version of Teaford he can fill the same roles from the other side. I think that he can be used more often if the team felt the need, hopefully he’s not wearing a path on I-29 again this season.
Kelvin Herrera (23): Herrera can close, set-up or go multiple innings for this bullpen. Kelvin proved this past season to be reliable and has arguable the organizations best fastball/changeup.
Aaron Crow (24): Another guy who is both valuable and can close if asked to do so but will be the primary bridge to the last guy on the list. Former All-Star Crow continues to improve with improve standing out most to fans from 2011 to 2012 and is one of the most important guy at the back-end for KC.
Greg Holland (25): “Dirty South” actually improved the closer’s position after Jonathan Broxton was dealt to Cincinnati. Holland will be “the guy” entering camp and here’s to hoping he gets plenty of opportunities this season.