Apr 25, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler (16) bats in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Royals defeated the Orioles 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Finding Help for the Royals Offense

Apr 11, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) hits a double in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Typically, most teams and fans look at the first 40 to 50 games as a way to determine what type of team they have. Are they going to contend for a playoff berth, or will they be bottom feeders? Should they acquire assets to attempt to make the playoffs, or should they trade away pieces to build for the future? What holes need to be filled?

For the Kansas City Royals, the first two questions are a bit difficult to answer. The Royals have hovered around the .500 mark for essentially the entire season, yet still find themselves in the Wild Card hunt at this early stage. With a hot streak, or a boost from the offense, the Royals could easily catapult themselves into the playoffs. With the entirety of the American League, aside from the moribund Houston Astros, within 3.5 games of the second Wild Card. In fact, of those teams, the Royals actually have the third best run differential, sitting dead even in runs allowed and runs scored.

As the Royals pitching has performed relatively well this season, the onus would appear to be on the offense. Right now, heading into today’s games, the Royals rank 25th in runs scored and OPS. While the Royals, as a team, have a decent batting average, they just are not getting on base, ranking 23rd with a .306 OBP.

It is certainly easy to find the main culprits in the lineup. Billy Butler and Mike Moustakas have not hit this season, leaving two large holes in the Royals lineup. Butler is making $8 Million this season, which, more than his production, is likely to keep him in the lineup. After all, are the Royals going to sit a player making that much? The best hope is that Butler will break out of whatever funk he is in, and start to produce like the Butler of old.

Moustakas, meanwhile, is a different story. Earlier in the week, there were rumors that the front office had discussed sending the struggling third baseman back to Omaha to jumpstart his bat. He has begun to lose playing time to Danny Valencia, as the Royals appear to be employing the platoon that made sense back when Valencia was acquired. Yet, even with that platoon, if the Royals were to look to upgrade their lineup, third base would seem to be the most logical place to start.

As the Royals offense is as inoffensive as a newborn baby, they need to find a way to upgrade their production. Acquiring a third baseman may be the most reasonable option. What move(s) would you make to get the offense to a suitable level? Let us know in the comments.

Tags: Kansas City Royals

  • jimfetterolf

    Problem looks more systemic. Moose and Billy have help, last night a perfect example. Moose at least got on base once.

    • Bear Brinkman

      I think that is one of the BIG things that is wrong…people keep making excuses for them……”at least Moose got on base once” is not enough . Produce or sit. Be a man and rise to the occasion and if you can’t get out of the way of those who rate a chance. Of coarse most of that is up to the dim wit who manages the team. He has failed also.

      • jimfetterolf

        Others might look at swing plane and staying back, as that gets into the physics of striking the ball and can be a systemic problem, but those people probably played a little ball and learned something about it. Contrary to the meme du jour, Moose isn’t the only problem. Four of the starters have a wRC+ over 100 and the top two are at 110, Cain and Perez.

        As for getting on base once, that is better than not getting on at all and was average OBP in a game with five hits.

        • Bear Brinkman

          I agree with most of what you said but I keep thinking of how the Royals lead the majors in ground balls, pop ups, swinging at bad pitches and are last in line drives and not just this year but this goes back 3-4 years.That tells me there is something going on in this system that is goofy. Hopefully things will work out before it’s too late.Being an old guy I’m not real big on all the stats used these days. I believe in stats but for me it’s simple: hit the fing ball or sit.

          • jimfetterolf

            Just my opinion, but Seitzer and apparently Pedro teach two things, stay back and hit down for back spin. Staying back makes contact more likely but with slower bat speed and striking lower in the ‘zone, as the ball is dropping. “Chopping” on the ball means that the most solid contact will be on the top of the ball, making a grounder. In today’s game Alex’ two dingers came on a slight uppercut and he was out in front of both. First one he was a touch on top and hit a screaming liner with top spin into the cheap seats, second one he was a touch under and got back spin and a moon shot. Billy’s line drive single to right had a little upward plane and was barreled on the nose. Three different possible results from the same basic swing. The homers the other day by Perez, Esky, and Gio, and the long sac fly by Valencia were all on uppercuts and out in front, get loft toward the short part of the park. More likely to whiff but harnesses power.

            One thing about staying back is the arc of the swing, the barrel is more likely to still be going down instead of flat or coming up. The ball is still going down, so a smaller window to get the arcs to intersect.

            As for the system, agree. Wilmington’s park is the best prep for the K, Arvest and Werner are the worst possible. By the time the kids make the bigs they need to be reprogrammed to a Ted Williams-type swing, about a 10* uppercut and drive the ball up the middle. I would put AA in Wilmington and buy the Iowa Cubs park for AAA, put A in Springdale and A+ in Omaha.

            I’m old too. Not a stinkin’ stat in sight :)

  • Amos T.

    The Royals need a Home Run Hitter. They need both a third basemen and a DH. They really don’t have anyone to trade that is not essential to the future. No money=no hope.

    Fire Yost and Moore and start over!

    • jimfetterolf

      Yet they’re at .500 without a single hot bat. They should be fine. Good thing they didn’t DFA Escobar last month when he was the worst hitter in human history :)