That Matt Duffy has been good for the KC Royals shouldn't stun anyone. He brought a seven-season .279 career average to spring training after signing a minor league deal with the club in January, then made the Opening Day roster by hitting .293 in 15 Cactus League games.
He hasn't missed a beat since. Duffy, a versatile infielder who could give Nicky Lopez a run for his money this season, started at third base Tuesday night and went 3-for-3 in Kansas City's 4-1 loss to Toronto. He's now 5-for-7 (.714) on the young season.
Unfortunately, especially for a team wanting so badly to be relevant again, Duffy is almost all the good offense the team boasts—of the players who've appeared at least twice in five games, only he and Salvador Perez (.267) are batting above .200. And Duffy's three singles were, with the lone exception of Franmil Reyes' home run, the only hits Kansas City managed Tuesday.
But those woes tell only part of the sad story. The rest of it is in the awful numbers.
It's early for the KC Royals, but their numbers at the plate are terrible
Just how bad are Kansas City's early offensive stats?
Pretty darned bad.
Nate Eaton is 0-for-10. Hunter Dozier is 1-for-13. Reyes' Tuesday home run is his only hit in 10 at-bats. Bobby Witt Jr. is 2-for-17, Vinnie Pasquantino 2-for-15, and MJ Melendez 2-for-14. All are guns; the Royals can't succeed unless and until their bats come alive.
Just as depressing are Kansas City's team stats. Entering play Wednesday, the Royals are the only team in the big leagues with an an average below .200. Their 26 hits are the majors' fewest, and their .262 OBP ranks ahead of only Detroit's .250.
The club is also last in the American League in runs, total bases, and slugging percentage.
Considering all that, is it really any surprise that despite some decent pitching, the Royals are tied with Philadelphia and Washington for the worst record (1-4) in the majors?
Yes, it's early, but the proof of what most ails Kansas City is in the offensive numbers.