The last three weeks have been rough to say the least. Royals fans are nearing the point where we get meaningless baseball games for several months, and quite frankly it isn’t acceptable. This team should better, but it is not, and so far the only response from the management has been everything will be fine just stay the course. That is also not acceptable in my opinion, and something needs to change.
Ned Yost has stood steadfastly by his players this year. He has held Jeff Francoeur, Mike Moustakas, and Chris Getz out of games fairly regularly over the last month, but at some point more has to be done. The only full demotion to the minors has been a middle reliever. Both Moose and Getz have options, so it wouldn’t even be difficult to send them down. What does Yost do in stead? He bats Chris Getz in the lead off spot. Nothing like moving Alex Gordon into the three spot to get more RBI opportunities and then putting Getz (.265 OBP) and Alcides Escobar (.281 OBP) in front of him.
Eric Hosmer can get on base. I’m not kidding, look it up. Actually, let me do it for you. His OBP is .330, which is still not great, but way better than Getz and Escobar. We have focused so much on what Hosmer isn’t doing that we have forgotten that he is actually doing a few things. Lorenzo Cain can get on base too, and he did lead off or bat second in a couple of games, but he needed to move down to get those two back at the front of the line-up. Oh yeah, and if you don’t feel like anyone can handle the job why not put Gordon back at the top since some runs were being scored when he was there.
I understand Ned’s frustration with the line-up. In fact, I am not sure I have ever seen an entire team regress like this, but placing people in spots based on what you WANT them to be is obviously not the answer. Also, placing your players in spots where they are almost certainly going to fail is probably not the answer. If you are going to place a pinch hitter in the game
against a right handed pitcher it should not be Jeff Francoeur if you have a lefty, any lefty including Moose and Getz on the bench. He is hitting .198 against righties, and for his career which actually includes a couple of good years he is .255 over almost 3,500 plate appearances. Or how about not leaving Bruce Chen in to face a right handed power hitter in a game that is tied in the 7th inning.
Really I could go on all day about the frustration, and if you go to any outlet that covers the Royals you are likely to get just that. Listen to the podcast from a couple of days ago if you want more. What I am mostly wanting the Royals to do is SOMETHING. Send a message that failure is not okay, don’t just send the same guys out there day after day. Moose and/or Getz should be in Omaha. Just straight up releasing Francoeur would be okay too. Ned is on the hot seat, of that I have no doubt after the meeting with Glass. I’m not advocating for Yost’s head, but only because there is nobody obvious sitting around that could replace him and do a better job.
I still believe this team is pretty good, at least compared to this franchise’s last couple of decades. If you put a gun to my head my feeling is that they end up right around .500, and that is the problem. Mediocrity still abounds in KC because the young players have gotten worse to offset the improved starting pitching. If we are to have something better that needs to change, and it won’t unless the Royals to something.