KC Royals: Five Reasons Why Fans Should Be Concerned
By John Viril
2). No More Three-Headed Monster
The 2014 Kansas City Royals took the baseball world by storm with the post-season performance of their vaunted HDH trio. The KC Royals deployed three almost unhittable relievers in the back-end of their bullpen. They effectively shortened games to six inning affairs.
When Greg Holland struggled in 2015 and finally tore his ulnar collateral ligament, Ryan Madson took his place in Kansas City’s three-headed bullpen monster with Wade Davis taking over as closer. The KC Royals didn’t miss a beat and won the 2015 World Series in large part due to the bullpen’s ability to hold down opponents in the late-innings.
That back-end strength helped the 2015 KC Royals pull off a record eight multi-run comeback wins in the playoffs, including three come-from behind victories in the World Series against Mets closer Jeurys Familia.
When Madson departed in free-agency over the winter, the Kansas City Royals moved quickly to bring former Royals closer Joakim Soria back to the fold. After signing a three-year, $27 million free-agent deal, the KC Royals expected to continue their tradition of back-end bullpen dominance.
That hasn’t been the case in 2016, with Soria losing his eighth-inning job to Kelvin Herrera, and still failing to get it done in the seventh. Soria sports an unsightly 4.96 ERA along with a 4.41 BB/9.
That’s not the stuff of back-end dominance.
Either Joakim Soria needs to turn things around very quickly, or the Kansas City Royals need to give his job to either Danny Duffy (who has looked impressive while throwing 97 mph gas as a reliever) or Luke Hochevar.
Next: Reason No. 1