Royals Didn’t Need Cueto And Zobrist To Win Central
But, as it turned out, Johnny Cueto struggled in the final two months of the season. His 4-7, 4.76 ERA finish hardly carried the Kansas City Royals to the AL Central title. In fact, one could argue that the KC Royals won the Central despite Cueto’s performance.
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On the other hand, Ben Zobrist’s .284/.364/.453 while filling in for Alex Gordon in left, and then Omar Infante at second base, over the last two months was a definite upgrade over any of the potential replacements on the roster before he joined the team. Yet, the team went 13-6 in the nineteen games between Alex Gordon’s injury and Ben Zobrist’s Kansas City debut on July 30.
The KC Royals clearly showed they could win without Ben Zobrist. To me, it seems pretty obvious that the Kansas City Royals would still have won the AL Central without the Cueto and Zobrist deals. Any case that the KC Royals could not have won the 2015 World Series without them will have to be based on their contributions in the playoffs.
Next: Cueto And Zobrist Made Critical Contributions In Playoffs