After completing a series sweep of Houston Sunday, the KC Royals take today off before ending the 2023 season with three road games against Detroit and three at home against the Yankees.
And although there aren't enough games remaining for the Royals to escape the American League Central cellar (trailing fourth-place Chicago by six games with six left to play, the best they can do is finish in a last-place tie), the season's final week will be worth watching. By winning just twice, for example, the club won't end up with 207 losses, a number that would break the 2005 Royals' record for most in a season, and with 29 home runs and 48 stolen bases, Bobby Witt Jr. has a legitimate shot at a rare 30-50 year.
There are three more things, though, the Royals can do to make their six games interesting.
The KC Royals should give pitcher Zack Greinke a turn or two at DH
That Zack Greinke relishes having a bat in his hands is no secret. Hitting is something he's fond of but hasn't done in a regular season game since July 31, 2022, when as an Astro he went hitless in two at-bats against the Giants.
And for a pitcher, Greinke is no slouch at the plate. He entered this season, his 20th in the big leagues, hitting .225; he hit .308 for the Dodgers in 2013, but his best year may have been 2019 when, playing first for Arizona and then Houston, he homered three times and slashed .280/.308/.580. He also has a .269 average over 23 postseason games.
But Greinke, whose 224 career wins should render him a lock for baseball's Hall of Fame, has things he's long wanted to accomplish offensively before retiring — as he told MLB.com's Matt Monagan over two years ago, reaching 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases are quite important career marks for him.
With nine homers and an equal number of steals, he's close. And becaue retirement could (and probably should) also be close, especially because this season (1-15, 5.37 ERA) will be his worst ever and he'll turn 40 next month, the Royals need to give Greinke a shot, and maybe more than one, at reaching those goals. They can certainly afford to: neither they nor the teams they have left to play are contending, so using Greinke at DH won't trigger accusations that the club isn't putting their best lineups on the field in important late-season contests.
What else should Kansas City do before the season ends?