With everyone in the holiday spirit, it gave me an idea to create my wish list for the 2013 Royals. Obviously, I’d love nothing more than to hang a freshly printed World Series banner at Kauffman Stadium, but I’ll keep this list fairly realistic. There’s about five things I would truly like to see and I think they all have a very good chance of happening. At least I hope they do, because it would mean this season would be a success.
The first and most important thing I’d like to see is for the team to be above .500 and compete in the second half of the year. With additions to the pitching staff this offseason, the Royals have attempted to bolster their weakness from the 2012 season. I do believe this will certainly help them contend into the latter part of the season, and hopefully into September. If we could even attempt to come close to 90 wins, I’d be beyond ecstatic.
The second thing I’d like to see in 2013 is no more Jeff Francoeur in right field and no more Luke Hochevar on the mound. The subtraction of Wil Myers could mean we see more of Frenchy than we’d like but I do believe the Royals will try and part ways with their right fielder or at least acquire some talent that can take away from his playing time. The acquisitions of James Shields, Wade Davis, and Ervin Santana could mean that Luke Hochevar has thrown his last inning in royal blue. It seems there is no more room in the rotation for the former number one overall draft pick. The Royals have actively been calling other teams about their interest in Hochevar and it’s in my best guess he will be dealt sometime in the spring when injuries can affect other teams’ rotations.
There has to be many people who are hoping for my next wish to come true. We’d all like to see James Shields live up to his nickname ‘Big Game James’, and that is my 3rd wish. If history repeats itself, he should start around 33 games and post about 15 wins with a mid three ERA. However, I don’t think it’s out of the question he can come close to repeating his stellar 2011 campaign where he threw 11 complete games and tossed four shutouts as well. The move to the AL Central and not facing the vaunted AL East offenses should certainly help his chances of dominating for the Royals and making the move to deal Wil Myers a little easier to digest.
My fourth wish is for Eric Hosmer to be the key offensive guy for the Royals this season. The Royals will live and die off of his bat. If he can rebound to his rookie season form and beyond, I think this team will definitely be a surprise offense to watch out for. We need Hoz to be the cleanup hitter he is projected to be and it starts this year.
My last wish for 2012 is for Greg Holland to be an All-Star closer that I know he is capable of being. He clearly has dominate stuff with 188 strike outs in only 145.2 innings and a 2.97 career ERA. He was able to get a little taste of the closer’s role last season after the Royals traded Jonathan Broxton to the Reds. There is no doubt in my mind Holland can wind up being a Royal representative at the All-Star game in New York, and if he is then we have a reliable guy we can count on to shut the door in the 9th.
My wish list is optimistic but also very reasonable. It is not out of the question that all of these wishes can come true. If they do, I truly believe we will see a magical season at Kauffman, and it has been far too long since we’ve seen such a thing.