It’s been a rough week for the Kansas City Royals.
The Royals lost their third series in a row and dropped their opener against the lowly Houston Astros.
Yordano Ventura left the mound in the middle of an at bat due to elbow problems.
Kyle Zimmer‘s time-table to throw this year was pushed back to sometime in July. The first round pick pitcher was projected as a potential shot in the arm for the big league club’s hopeful playoff push.
An article about another first round pick, Bubba Starling, details how he felt over coached the last two seasons. He claims his recent, and very modest, progress is due to him going back to the approach he employed in high school.
Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, and Salvador Perez continued to putter offensively. None of them have hit horribly the last two weeks, but no slugging surge is in sight with a quarter of the season in the books.
There are six teams in front of them for the Wild Card, and they are 5.5 games behind in the Central. What are the boys in blue to do?
This season’s fate and route may, and should, rest on the arm of Yordano Ventura. As of today, he isn’t supposed to miss much time. There is no structural damage to the elbow. Thank the Lord. But what if this lingers or continues to deteriorate? No rational mind can see these Royals playing in this year’s post season without him in the rotation. This team, with this offense, just won’t compete for the playoffs without and excellent and consistent starting rotation. An excellent and consistent rotation is not in grasp if Little Pedro is not a part of it.
All of these points can be rationalized. On its surface, it looks like much of what ails the Royals is out of their control. Bad luck you say? Well, If you consistently have lots of bad luck, you are doing something wrong. How do you change your luck?
If Ventura is going to simply miss a few starts, the Glass family should stick to the plan through June. This lineup will have one more month to heat up and show what type of potential this club really has this season. If they find themselves in a realistic playoff spot, despite a weak lineup, it’s time to make a trade for a slugger. Perhaps the Rangers would trade Adrian Beltre and Joakim Soria for Hosmer and Holland. Maybe Boston is ready to deal Will Middlebrooks. Hosmer and Holland are very replaceable and still carry trade value. Billy Butler isn’t going to net anything impactful for this year’s team.
If Ventura is going to miss the rest of the year, or July finds the Royals no closer to the leaders than they stand today, it’s time for major changes. The Royals would do their long-term needs well by not just dealing away Greg Holland, but moving James Shields to a contender. Players like Aoki and Butler would also need to be moved for prospects, and it would also be time to listen to trades involving Eric Hosmer and Alcides Escobar. Moving Zimmer and his noisy delivery would have been a good move for this scenario, but they would now need to bolster his value in the minor leagues with his latest set back.
The changes could not stop there. The reset button can not be hit by Dayton Moore or executed on the field by Ned Yost. Moore’s track record makes it clear he is not the man who should be given this new charge. He’s yet to deliver a starting pitcher, and, outside of Salvador Perez, each of his high-profile draft picks have been different degrees of failure and disaster. He’s in charge of an organization that does not value on base percentage and has given up on slugging the ball. The Royals should have seen enough. Yost and Moore are kindred spirits, sharing these deficiencies. Yost is also a losing manager, inconsistent, and not equipped to outsmart clubs with better, more expensive players. That’s what the back of his baseball card says.
Last May, the Royals experienced an epic collapse, going 8-20. This May, the Royals have won more games, but are clearly falling apart. Last season, the Royals staged a miraculous second half of baseball and kept things interesting through September. The Glass family can’t wait for a miracle second half this season, this year’s miracle has to happen this June.