Another day, another day off. Scheduling, rainouts, and the hunt for Dzhohkar Tsarnaev kept the Royals from playing in eight of the season’s first twenty-six days. That is a lot of time off, and must something of a momentum killer, because they have yet to win this year following an off day (0-5). That’s a streak we hope will end today.
I don’t know about you but I’m starting to feel this team might be a legitimate contender. I know some of you have felt that way since Spring Training but I needed some convincing. Now I’m not quite ready to go into full blown Game On mode but the last week and a half was encouraging. They went 4-3 on a road trip to Atlanta, Boston and Detroit, and held the lead in every game, meaning they came close to winning all seven. They have actually been in every game all season with the largest loss coming in at 4 runs. I guess this what happens when you have a competent rotation. Now on to the six pack.
- James Shields has been as good as advertised. He’s put up a 130 ERA+ through five starts and is averaging exactly 7 innings each time out. Ervin Santana (163 ERA+) is averaging 7.2 and Jeremy Guthrie (107 ERA+) is averaging 6.4. Dayton Moore’s plan to increase innings and performance is working as intended. I wasn’t thrilled with the way DM rebuilt the rotation but I’m not letting that ruin my enjoyment of what I’ve witnessed thus far.
- I’ve joined the send Mike Moustakas to Omaha bandwagon. Moose is simply overmatched right now and a month long sabbatical up north may be what he needs to get going. Since June 1st of last year he’s put up just a .218/.272/.355 line, so it’s not like his struggles are a recent thing. Those numbers are a little too close to the .217/.268/.339 Jeff Francoeur has produced in the same time frame for my tastes. It’s hard to argue that Moose has basically morphed into Frenchy at this point.
- Remember when people wanted to move Greg Holland out of the closer’s spot? That was fun. In his last 4 appearances he struck out 9 of the 12 batters he faced. He’s back.
- So it turns out that George Kottaras does exist. For someone who hasn’t played much this year he was as cool as a cucumber Thursday afternoon. He wouldn’t swing at Phil Coke‘s assortment of junk and ended up drawing a bases loaded walk. Two batters later, this happened. Kottara now has 2 walks on the season. That matches Frenchy and is 1 more than Chris Getz and Salvador Perez have drawn.
- Speaking of Frenchy…….what happened to that short leash he’s allegedly on? He’s having a worse season than last year and has shown no sign of going on one of his infamous hot streaks. It’s hard to see how the Royals would be worse with Jarrod Dyson playing three or more times a week in his place. Dyson is better defensively and on the basepaths, and at, you know, getting on base. It’s true that Frenchy has more power but he’s not actually put that on display this year.
- Weather permitting, the Royals begin a ten game homestand today. The went 4-2 during their first two series at The K, which is a far cry from their home woes of last April. This is a different team and I think anything less than 6 wins can be considered a disappointment.