2.) Second-Half Injuries
Having players suffer injuries is a surefire way to struggle during the season. When those injuries—for the most part—come around the same time, it’s difficult to overcome. But when they happen to a few of the only truly great players on the team, it’s virtually impossible to get past.
For the Kansas City Royals, Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas had the bad luck of getting banged up in the second half of the season. Entering August, the team was in a playoff position. But those injuries helped lead to a steep decline.
Then came the late-August injury to Danny Duffy. The best starter on the team had to miss several starts with a forearm injury. That only accelerated the decline.
Those early season injuries set the team back, but the ones at the end of the year clearly hurt more.
Other late-season injuries forced the likes of Ian Kennedy and Joakim Soria to miss time. Those two pitchers hadn’t exactly lit the world alight during the season. However, it could be argued the pair—or at least Soria—would have been better than the alternatives.
There were other injuries that hurt the team throughout the season. Paulo Orlando suffered a severe leg injury that cost him a vast majority of the year. Newcomer Nate Karns also missed a large portion of the campaign. Those early season injuries set the team back, but the ones at the end of the year clearly hurt more.
Considering how healthy the Kansas City Royals were able to stay in 2014 and 2015, it makes sense that the past two seasons have seemed to include an above-average number of injuries.