With the playoffs coming up, the Kansas City Royals need to get the bats going. Nori Aoki has been, as Rex Hudler would say, driving the bus over much of the past month. Yet, there really is only so much that the slap hitting outfielder can do. Another player has been needed to step to the forefront and help improve the struggling offense. Over the past week, that player has been Billy Butler.
Butler has displayed flashes of being the player he was before this season, most notably during the first few weeks after Eric Hosmer was injured. That time playing first base rejuvenated his bat, and Butler looked like the hitter of old. Then, as he played the field every day, Butler wore down, and with the return of Hosmer, went missing for most of the first half of September, banished to the bench.
However, now that the playoffs are upon the Royals, Billy Butler is heating back up. Over the past week, Butler has been on a tear, posting a .357/.400/.429 batting line. During that time, Butler has four multi-hit games, and has a hit in all but one of those contests.
Yanks Go Yard
Aside from Alex Gordon, Butler may be the biggest key to the Royals playoff chances. As someone who has frequently been called a professional hitter, and one of the few players in the lineup who actually works the count, getting Butler back on track after a dismal season was vitally important. Now, with the possibility of the Royals facing up to two one game contests to decide both the American League Central and the one game Wild Card matchup, Butler may well be back.
The Kansas City Royals have already accomplished something no other team has done before in the history of baseball, reaching the playoffs despite finishing last in home runs and walks. However, when he’s on his game, Billy Butler provides the Royals with help in both cases. As good as the Royals pitching and defense have been, they are likely to go only as far as the offense can take them.
Getting another hot bat in the lineup can only help the Royals. Fortunately, it appears that Billy Butler is heating up at the right time.