This week looks like the nail in the coffin of any hopes the Royals had to contend. It was abysmal, horrific, terrible, ugly … all the bad adjectives that describe how hard it was to watch the product the Royals crapped onto the field this last week. In two very important series this week, the Royals went 2-5, including the five-game losing streak they are currently on, which puts the team at 43-49, eight games back of Detroit.
Their grade for this week is a D because getting swept by the Indians (and once again making Corey Kluber look like Superman) is just disgusting.
Gio who? Gio what?
Johnny Giavotella hasn’t lit the world on fire since his most recent call up, but it was a little peculiar when Ned Yost decided to randomly sit him a lot this week, including two games back-to-back. I never heard an explanation as to why. Bob Dutton speculated that he was “nicked up,” but to my knowledge that was never confirmed, and I’m not really sure what “nicked up” means.
My fear, of course, is that the Royals are jerking Giavotella around again. Those people with brains (read not Yost) are screaming the same thing in unison right now: PUT HIM IN THE LINEUP. LEAVE HIM THERE. AND STOP FIDDLING WITH STUFF (unless you’re going to permanently remove Alcides Escobar from the two hole).
The two hole
Speaking of the two hole, Yost finally came out and admitted that Escobar has no place in the two hole … against right handers. It’s always baby steps with Yost and the rest of the Royals decisions makers, which provides wonderful material for comic ventures but also crushes the souls of fans who seem to understand the best moves for the team months before those actually calling the shots.
And normally I don’t believe this at all. Normally, I think fanbases are terrible at understanding the game and what it takes to win (and that goes for many different sports). In general, fans don’t really understand the games they’re fans of, or at least, they understand how to be a fan but not how to win. The Royals present a rare case study in fans having solutions for problem before their team does … way before their team does.
Maybe it’s because the Royals fanbase is pretty small and dedicated, which makes them obsessive, which also makes them more educated about the game. Or maybe my perspective is skewed because I mostly see fans who read Kings of Kauffman and follow the game very closely. But I find it troubling and comical that months after many fans feel the Royals should do something, the team realizes they should do that thing.
Heads up Royals! You should take Escobar out of the two hole always!
Hey baby, you lookin’ for a starting pitcher
With the team’s recent performance, calls are already echoing to trade Ervin Santana. That’s probably a good idea at this point, which is why I’m guessing it won’t happen. Also, the Royals have a lot of games in the second half against Detroit and Cleveland, which might provide the delusion that they’re still in the race. So, that’s my fear really. That they’ll hold onto Santana when he could demand quite a return.
That said, he could yield a pretty decent return. Starting pitching is always in high demand because it’s super important and pretty scarce. Santana’s been All-Star worthy so far this year, which will make him very attractive for a team that only wants him for a playoff push. The fact that his contract is up at the end of the year may actually work a little in the Royals’ favor because some suitors won’t want him beyond this year.
Trading Santana has very little downside because they have about as much of a chance of achieving the miracle run of success they’d need to get back in the race without him as with him. That is to say both are long shots.