To kick off a nine-game West Coast road trip, the KC Royals visit one of the National League’s most hapless squads, and they have a little something to play for to sweeten the deal. With the AL Central currently cannibalizing itself, the Royals could make a big move with a successful weekend in San Diego.
Top Five Reasons to (Choose Your Own Adjective, it could be positive or negative, don’t let me influence you) San Diego and the Padres
- From May to November, the average high temperature is 69 degrees. That’s not fair.
- In their history, the Padres have drafted one Hall of Famer—Dave Winfield, in 1973. Since the turn of the century, their best three No. 1 picks have been Khalil Greene (all-glove, no-bat shortstop), Trea Turner (currently tearing it up for the Nationals after never playing for the Padres) and… Hunter Renfroe? Jace Peterson (now with Atlanta)? Joe Ross (now with Washington)? It’s pretty bleak out there.
- J. Preller, who somehow hasn’t been fired despite A.) being suspended for being shady during his time with the Rangers, B.) being suspended for, essentially, the same thing last September, C.) Trading away during his Padres tenure Turner, Ross, Peterson, Yasmani Grandal, Craig Kimbrel, Drew Pomeranz and Matt Kemp. Combine that with a draft record that would charitably be called shaky and most people would’ve been canned by now. I suppose one has to admire his durability.
- Wil Myers… oh, Wil Myers. He was dealt to the Rays by the KC Royals, right before the Royals became American League dynamos and World Series champions (thanks in part to James Shields and Wade Davis, who Dayton Moore stole). He hasn’t played a meaningful game in September since his rookie season. It’s just sad.
- Aside from Myers, the rest of the lineup is the definition of non-descript. Dinelson Lamet? Allen Cordoba sounds like a fictional player on MLB the Show. Ditto Jose Pirela.
Opponent Most Likely to start a Brawl
I couldn’t even pretend to have a guess. Have any of these guys ever been in the California Penal League?
History of Bad Blood with the KC Royals?
San Diego Player of Whom Much Was Expected and Less Was Produced?
Austin Hedges was a second-round pick in 2011. Through parts of three seasons, he’s hitting .188 with a 55 OPS+. So yeah, special mention to him I guess.
KC Royals Player Most Likely to Light Up the Padres?
Ian Kennedy may not have a better chance to pick up his season’s first win than Saturday. Kennedy owns a 7-2 career mark against the Padres, with a 3.05 ERA and 96 strikeouts to just 20 walks. It’s possibly this is because the Padres are bad and have been for years, but IK has been beaten up by plenty of bad teams this season too.
Will this series be fun?
Potentially! The KC Royals have been pretty good, the Padres are always comically bad and a series win could actually put the Royals in a pretty good place in the AL Central—they’re just 5.5 games back at the moment. And Petco Park is one of baseball’s gems; it’s a real shame it’s home to a team that never appears on national television and that large swaths of the country can forget about for decades at a time.