After losing five straight, can the KC Royals get on track against Chicago?
The KC Royals, mired in a five-game tailspin that cost them first place, host one of the better teams and rotations this weekend. The second place and dangerous Chicago White Sox are in for three starting tonight, and boast stellar starters and one of the best managers the game has ever known.
Those aren’t factors, however, that will necessarily extend Kansas City’s losing streak. There are reasons Chicago may help cure what ails the Royals.
One is the sudden absence of Luis Robert. The young center fielder who took the American League by storm in his rookie season last year suffered a torn right hip flexor against Cleveland Sunday. Gone from the lineup now, and probably for at least 12-16 weeks, is the production he brought to the Chicago outfield in 2020, when he broke into the majors with 11 home runs and 31 RBIs in 56 games and won a Gold Glove..
Robert had only one homer so far this season when he went down Sunday, but was batting .316 with a .359 OBP.
Leury Garcia and former Royal Billy Hamilton have both played center since Robert’s injury and are a combined 1-for-13. The club also signed ex-Royal outfielder Brian Goodwin Wednesday.
Robert’s absence isn’t the only outfield deficiency hampering the White Sox. A spring training injury still keeps Adam Engel on the sidelines, and left fielder Eloy Jiminez is missing the season with a ruptured pectoral tendon.
So, possibly much to the Royals’ advantage, Chicago will be without some of its pop this weekend.
What else might help Kansas City against the Sox?