Apr 9, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) hits a three run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals Offense Is About To Break Out


Apr 9, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) celebrates with teammate Eric Hosmer (35) after hitting a three run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

 

The offense to this point has been more or less what I expected.  A lot of fans have been upset by the output, but really if you correct for all factors it has been fine.  Let’s look at it with respect to competition level first:

Wins

Losses

Starter Runs Scored Starter Runs Scored
Erik Johnson

7

Justin Verlander

3

John Danks

4

Max Scherzer

1

Matt Moore

4

Chris Sale

1

Jake Odorizzi

7

Chris Archer

0

The Royals have faced an inordinate amount of Cy Young level pitching in the first 8 games of the season.  When you face Verlander, Scherzer, or Sale it is going to generally hurt your offensive output.  Archer is also really good, and may eventually be on that level as well.  Only 20 to 30 starters are on that level out of 150 starters in the majors at any given time, so you should only see one every 5 to 7 games.  The Royals to this point have seen too many and it has hurt their runs scored, and the weather probably hasn’t helped either.

Now the Royals are heading out on the road to face a bunch of bad baseball teams.  The offense should feast over the next couple of weeks, as these are the pitchers they are going to face as ESPN has mapped the probable starters out.

Date Starter ERA Proj. 2014 ERA (ZIPS)
4/11 Kyle Gibson 1.80 5.18
4/12 Ricky Nolasco 9.00 4.72
4/13 Kevin Correia 6.17 5.17
4/15 Lucas Harrell 11.05 5.41
4/16 Dallas Keuchel 3.75 5.02
4/17 Scott Feldman 0.66 4.08
4/18 Ricky Nolasco 9.00 4.72
4/19 Kevin Correia 6.17 5.17
4/20 Phil Hughes 7.20 4.94
4/21 Danny Salazar 6.75 4.08
4/22 Justin Masterson 4.22 3.86
4/23 Carlos Carrasco 6.35 5.21
4/24 Corey Kluber 7.71 4.31

That is a lot of mediocre to terrible starting pitching that the Royals will be facing over the next four series.  Only one pitcher who was projected to have a sub-4.00 ERA over a 13 game period.

If come April 25th the team is still scoring 3.5 runs/game, then we can start freaking out, but none of those guys is in the same vicinity as Verlander, Scherzer, or Sale.  The players that are under-performing to this point can be easily evaluated after this as well.  Mike Moustakas and Billy Butler are the two so far as needing to get going.  Alcides Escobar hasn’t been great either, but he has started to turn it around and isn’t expected to be very good with the bat no matter what.  Especially for Moose, if he is still floundering toward the end of April it might be time for a change.  The only problem being that there is no obvious solution at third base.  Danny Valencia every day doesn’t make me real comfortable either, and the two minor leaguers that might be good in the future, Cheslor Cuthbert and Hunter Dozier, are too far away from the majors.  AAA has Jimmy Paredes right now, and that is possible as the other side of a platoon for Dozier, but for now let’s just hope Moustakas starts hitting over the next couple of weeks.

Get ready for a big bump in run production.  The pitching has been tough, but it is about to soften up while the weather warms, and I expect big things from the bats of the boys in blue in the near future.  Who knows, maybe James Shields can even get some support.

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Tags: Kansas City Royals

  • Eric Akers

    Hopefully this will get our offense going. I remember some years (late 90s, early 2000s) where the Yankees would start out slowly, then come to Kauffman, destroy us, then go on to destroy everybody else. They needed us to jump start them.

    • Brian Henry

      Glad we are no longer other teams’ catalyst.

      • Eric Akers

        I am hoping we have our own catalyst this year in the Twins.

  • Ryan Caltrider

    Still waiting…

  • RBTGT

    The premise of this article is only valid if these if this a proven lineup with a roster of good hitters, which it is not. These players have no real track record of producing in the past and there is no rational reason to believe that is going to manifestly change no matter what pitchers the Royals are facing.

    When this season is over, the Royals will be at or near the bottom of the league in many important offensive categories, Just like they are now, and were last season, and were the season before that, since, with a few tweaks, this is largely the same cast of non-hitting characters.

    It’s amazing to me how people can look at a bunch of players with no track record whatsoever of producing anything and think they are about to “break out” when they have never done any such thing in the past.

    Moose is a great example. He didn’t even hit or get on base in the MINOR leagues. What make any thinking person think he’s going to do it in the majors?

    This is a lousy offense, even at a casual glance.

    • Hunter Samuels

      Obviously the offense is underperforming, but your statement about the players having no track record of producing is not very accurate. 6 of the 9 regular starters were above average hitters last year, and 5 of 9 have been above average for their careers. As for Moose, his career minor league line is .282/.337/.503. That’s not record-setting, but it’s not nothing, either.

      The offense may not amount to much, but there most certainly is evidence they’re capable of more.

  • Larry Devore

    only thing they can break out in are Hives. this team is hideous. even crappy teams are beating the Royals. Goi back and re-examine you bad club list. Royals are about to sink into the cellar.