KC Royals: Dayton Moore will be judged on winter moves

(Photo by Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo by Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) /
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KC Royals
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How a new starter performs for the KC Royals will figure prominently in grading Dayton Moore.

For Dayton Moore and the Royals, much is riding on the left arm of Mike Minor. The 33-year old veteran of nine big league seasons, including one with the Royals, fits two of the club’s needs heading into 2021: he’s an accomplished southpaw who completes the rotation, and he’s been around long enough to guide the club’s young pitchers.

Minor’s acquisition is important to Moore’s continuing vitality as KC’s general manager. His career 71-66, 3.98 record is serviceable but doesn’t place him among the game’s elite hurlers, some of whom Moore didn’t pursue, or couldn’t land, this winter. If Minor pitches and mentors well, Moore will grade favorably; if Minor flops, many will blame Moore for not spending more to obtain an ace, although it’s improbable that Trevor Bauer had KC on his list.

The general manager won’t be on quite the same hook if Greg Holland doesn’t repeat last season’s rebound 3-0, 1.91 performance. Hopes were high, but expectations low, for the former Kansas City closer when he rejoined the club last winter; even coming off his resounding comeback campaign, it won’t shock anyone if inconsistency returns to plague the 35-year old Holland. If it does, the Royals have Josh Staumont and Scott Barlow, and talented newcomer Peyton Gray lurks at Omaha.

Nor should Moore be blamed if Brady Singer or Kris Bubic struggle. Both debuted in 2020 and, while their seasons weren’t stellar, each aptly demonstrated why they’re held in such high esteem throughout the game. And while Singer and Bubic now have a taste of major league pitching and life, the season was short and that taste just a morsel. Under the circumstances, pedestrian sophomore seasons can be excused.