KC Royals Sit in First Place Despite Suspensions and Injuries
May 7, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Greg Holland (56) delivers a pitch in the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
First, All-Star closer Greg Holland went on the 15-day disabled list. When I first heard this my heart dropped because we all saw what he was able to do for the team last year. Missing him in the bullpen would create a huge void, or you would think.
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While he was out, the KC Royals did not have any blown save opportunities. Wade Davis did an amazing job at filling the closer role. Davis looked like he could be one of the best closers in the game and that is not even his job.
The rest of the bullpen also helped by picking up a few more outs than normal before Davis would come in to close it out for the win. It is such a great problem to have when you have one of the best closers in the game injured and barely notice. That is no disrespect at all towards Holland, but more giving credit to the talent in the bullpen and to Dayton Moore for the depth he put in place.
Lorenzo Cain also was out of the lineup for two games this week, serving his two-game suspension. As one of the best hitters on the team you would think this would have created a hole in the lineup but everyone stepped up where they were needed. Others in the lineup, for example Eric Hosmer in Tuesday’s game, lead the way for the offense.
Alcides Escobar has been missing from the team, on the DL with a concussion. At the time this was announced, it seemed like not only would this hurt the Royals defensively but it also took away their lead-off batter. Alex Gordon was the easy choice to replace Escobar in the lineup and it was perfect timing since Gordon was just starting to hit a hot streak.
With Christian Colon as Escobar’s replacement at shortstop, there was no arguing that this would be a downgrade defensively. We cannot say exactly what Escobar could have contributed over the last week that he missed, but Colon has completely impressed us all with his defense and at the very least has been a very suitable replacement.
Injuries haven’t been the only problem. The Kansas City Royals have had ugly incidents against the A’s and the White Sox that caused four players to draw suspensions.
Next: Working Around Suspensions