To steal a quote from Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, Kansas City Royals fans need to “R-E-L-A-X”. This season is going exactly how it needs to go.
I know. It is really hard watching a team play badly. No one wants to see a team they are emotionally invested in lose as often as the Kansas City Royals currently are. However, this year is going exactly as it needs to.
The Royals are bad. They have had more games that have been extremely hard to watch than games that were exciting to watch. They have also had heartbreaking loses because of the bullpen falling apart or a fan favorite not executing like we all hoped.
And that is 100% okay. We as fans have an emotional attachment to the team. We have spent the last five years living and dying by each series win and loss the Royals have had.
However, one thing we all need to keep in mind is that the year is going exactly how it should.
“How could you say such a thing?”
Before you start sharpening the pitchforks and building up the rage, let’s think this through. During the offseason, most fans were content with letting the Core-Four of Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, and Alcides Escobar walk.
Logically thinking, if you are willing to let those four walk then you are in essence content with the Royals being really bad.
Now, the Royals were able to bring back Moustakas and Escobar, but neither was signed with the intent of “saving” the team. While Moustakas had a great 2017 season, Escobar was still weak offensively. The Royals also still needed to fill holes at centerfield, first base, designated hitter, and on the pitching staff.
When you looked at the Royals lineup, you weren’t overly excited about how it looked and you were unsure about what to expect. Therefore, from the beginning, we had a feeling that the Royals were most likely going to be bad.
“So how is this year going according to plan?”
The reason this year is going according to plan is simple. The players the Royals needed to be productive are being productive. The future core players are also getting playing time and having success.
Earlier in the year, I wrote an article about how the Royals are rebuilding and the players they signed were meant to be trade bait come July. That still applies.
Going into the year the Royals really needed Moustakas, Kelvin Herrera, Jon Jay, Lucas Duda, Danny Duffy and Whit Merrifield to be productive so they could listen to potential trade offers. And for the most part, they are getting just that.
- Moustakas: .291/.332/.535 with 10 doubles, 10 home runs, one triple, and a .866 OPS
- Herrera: 18 games, 16.2 innings, 1.08 ERA, nine saves, 15 strikeouts, and zero walks
- Jay: .292/.355/.345 with five doubles, two triples, and a .700 OPS
- Duda: .256/.317/.398 with seven doubles, four home runs, and a .716 OPS
- Duffy: nine starts, 47.0 innings, 6.51 ERA, 41 strikeouts, and 22 walks
- Merrifield: .300/.363/.435 with 11 doubles, four home runs, 12 stolen bases, and a .798 OPS
When you look at the numbers, most of the players are playing well enough to get the Royals something of value in return. Which when you think about it, why else would the Royals sign free agents to just a one-year deal if not to try and flip them come July?
Then you look at who they have for the future and this year has shown a lot of positives for those players. Brad Keller, Tim Hill, Jorge Soler, Jakob Junis, Jason Adam, Kevin McCarthy, and many others have shown to be productive players at the major league level.
Now, the thing to consider is that the majority of the future players who have shown to be productive are bullpen arms, rather than offensive players and starters. Therefore, it helps give the Royals an idea of where to go with trades and draft picks.
I will also say this. Anyone begging for Ned Yost to be fired needs to understand that he will be with the Royals until he decides to retire. That could be after this year, or maybe even next year. But the franchise is not going to move onto a different manager because the Royals aren’t under-performing.
Again, we knew the Royals were going to be bad. Don’t let the idea of how bad the American League Central is change your expectations on the year. As mentioned before, it is time for everyone in Kansas City to R-E-L-A-X. Enjoy the fact that the young players are performing better than we could have ever hoped.
Buckle up Royals fans. It has to get worse before it can get better!
So what do you think Royals fans? Are you able to see the positives over the negative? Did you have different expectations for the year? Let us know below!