May is still a week away, but this KC Royals season already feels long. They've played badly and, after ending their seven-game losing streak with an exciting 11-8 victory over the Angels Saturday night, have won only five times in 21 games.
That this is a campaign wracked by disappointments understates the obvious. The miserable record speaks for itself. Key injuries, something the Royals couldn't afford entering a new season and which include Kris Bubic's Tommy John Surgery-necessitating UCL issue, have weakened the lineup. And players who need to perform and produce haven't.
Who among these Royals have been the biggest individual disappointments? Hunter Dozier shocked everyone with three hits and three RBIs Saturday, but still has a .196/.213/,261 line, which means he's not even meeting expectations arising from the .226/.297/.391he's slashed over the past three campaigns. Nicky Lopez is hitting just .171, a number more in line with his 2019 (.240), 2020 (.201) and 2022 (.227) marks than his stellar 2021 performance. And Michael Massey's weak bat (.115/.111/.135) makes one wonder how long he can keep his second base job.
Who, though, have been the biggest bombs?
Count this outfielder as one of the KC Royals' major disappointments
Although Kyle Isbel hit .386 in the Cactus League this spring, his place in the Opening Day lineup was determined in no small part by the oblique strain Drew Waters suffered in late February. It was then that Isbel's chances to begin the season in center field improved dramatically, if not exponentially. And in center field at Kauffman Stadium is where he started Opening Day.
But while his errorless defense has proven him worthy of the role, his bat hasn't. On his way already to a second straight disappointing season after batting only .211 last year, and after going 1-for-4 and just missing his first home run of the season Saturday night, he's hitting .193, an unsustainable average if he wants to remain a major league outfielder.
Isbel's time in center may end when Waters returns ... or earlier if his struggles at the plate continue.
Who else has been a big disappointment?