While the KC Royals may look to be on the right track at times, they must ensure they have all the bases covered if they want to be contenders.
When the KC Royals went on their postseason run in 2014, something happened with the team that Kansas City fans hadn’t seen in a long time. The team clicked, they played as one, and they were balanced. When one stopped, the other began and their play was seamless.
The same can be said about 2015. While there may have been some areas that were lacking, or less than what one would imagine for a World Series team, each section of the team was able to pick up slack where it was needed.
Now, the Royals find themselves at the bottom of the tank. Two 100 loss seasons in a row, while unfortunate, should give the team a basis of understanding for where they are lacking, and which spots need the tune-up first.
In 2019, the offense was decent and starting to look like a team on its way to contending again, but it wasn’t there just yet. The defense was good as well, with only a few spots needing some attention. Pitching was a different story all the way around. The minor league pitchers are providing some hope for the future, though.
What must be understood, though, is that this will never be an overnight fix. The Royals will likely need to get even more uncomfortable before getting to the postseason again. Now, this isn’t meant to mean they need to drop 100 plus games again, but instead, try something different.
They have that chance and should embrace it. Jorge Soler is a different type of player for the Royals. He can play a little defense but is primarily a DH, not someone the Royals would typically employ. Slugging alone won’t give the team a World Series but neither will just hitting for average.
The team could still do better in the batting average department, but as said above, it’s not the only key. Don’t forget the Royals of 2010 and 2011 who batted .274 and .275 as a team respectively and each season had multiple batters over .300. Yes, it’s important to hit the ball, but players must be able to run the bases and bat runners in.
Along with Soler, the Royals also look to be changing, or going back to, powerful arms in the bullpen. The signings of Trevor Rosenthal and Greg Holland are in line with this, and with pitchers like Scott Barlow and Josh Staumont making their way up, the Royals seem to be channeling the bullpens of their championship runs.
It may be uncomfortable at first for a team that typically focuses on defense and running the bases, but it may just pay off.
The Royals are in an interesting spot. Having reached the bottom, they can make just about any move they want and see what works. Many of the pieces are there, they just need to find the right amount of balance to regain the cohesiveness of 2014-15, and find themselves in a spot to contend.
The Royals want to be contenders again, but there are hurdles they must jump first. Contention could be within reach with the minor league pitching about to come up through the ranks, but the team must find balance before a postseason run is in the cards.