The KC Royals won Friday night, beating the Yankees 12-5. This evening, Kansas City, the club guaranteed to finish last in the American League Central for the third time in the last five full, 162-game seasons, will play its last game of September.
Ending the month will be bittersweet. September's conclusion brings the loss-weary Royals, now 55-105, one day closer to Sunday's season finale and winter at home, but shutting the door means the best month of the Royals' otherwise deeply disappointing campaign will be over — win or lose, the team will finish September with its only winning month of the season.
Tonight's contest against the Yankees will also put a wrap on a a vital period for three KC players —James McArthur, Michael Massey, and Jackson Kowar — we've projected need superb Septembers if they want be on the big league roster when Kansas City opens the 2024 season in late March.
So, with one September game left, how are those three doing?
That reliever James McArthur is a lock for the 2024 KC Royals bears repeating
Regular Kings of Kauffman readers know how well Jacob Milham covers the club. And the story he wrote recently about Logan Porter, Nick Loftin, and James McArthur starting next season in Kansas City was no exception.
As Milham pointed out, McArthur had to overcome a rough start. He was ghastly in his first Royals appearance, a late-June debacle when Cleveland thrashed him for seven runs and six hits in only an inning. He didn't pitch for the Royals again until August; in none of the five games he pitched that month did opponents treat him as badly as the Guardians had in June, but he still surrendered five runs over a half-dozen innings.
But as Milham's story confirms, McArthur's September has been nothing like his August. And after shutting out New York for an inning Friday night, he hasn't been charged with any runs in 10 September appearances.
Kings of Kauffman's Milham was right. McArthur should be with the Royals when they open the season March 28 against Minnesota.