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Royals Are Limping to the Finish Line


In Thursday’s game in Detroit, Eric Hosmer dove for a ball and injured his shoulder. Later in the game, Alcides Escobar dove for one and injured his as well. Along with those injuries, the Royals lost all four games at Detroit, scored only ten times in the series, committed six errors (five in today’s game), managed only three hits on Tuesday and struck out 40 times but only walked once.

Doug Fister struck out nine Royals in a row – a new American League record, and a late comeback fell apart in the bottom of the ninth.

That kind of year. Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

It’s fitting that, in a year marked by so many key injuries, the Royals would finish the season with more players getting banged up. Escobar may still play tomorrow, as they say it’s just a bruise, but Hosmer’s injury may keep him out of the lineup for a few days – of which there aren’t many left.

Keep an eye on the transactions report. If Clint Robinson joins the team in the final stretch, it may be 2013 before Hosmer plays again.

Hosmer has struggled through all of 2012 and a couple of short hot stretches have helped his numbers look poor rather than dreadful. The Royals don’t seem to be worried and the general feeling is that Hosmer can still reach the lofty potential many expect. An extra week head start towards the offseason might not be a bad thing. Ned Yost said he may have pinched something in his rotator cuff but it’s officially called a strain so there’s little reason to push it.

Escobar’s injury seems much less significant and even one day off isn’t a big deal – and frankly, at this point in the year, all the Royasls are playing for is pride anyway.

It’s symbolic, though. The Royals entered 2012 with high hopes. Then Joakim Soria and Salvador Perez got hurt in spring training. Shortly after the season started, Lorenzo Cain hurt himself and missed half the year. Then Danny Duffy got hurt. Then Felipe Paulino‘s great start was interrupted by injury.

Chris Getz had the best offensive season he’s had as a Royal and went on the disabled list three times with various ailments. Greg Holland spent some time on the DL as well early in the year. Cain hurt himself again earlier this month.

Along with injury, key players have struggled. Bruce Chen and Luke Hochevar have been hit or miss. Hosmer’s struggles are obvious, and Mike Moustakas has had a dismal second half with the bat as well.

It was supposed to be so much better this time.

Even with all of that, the Royals are in position to win more games this year than in any other year since Dayton Moore took over. They’d have to win all six remaining games and they’d only finish 76-86, but I suppose it’s a step.