The 30/30 Club

Club 7: Kansas City Royals

No team in baseball went all-in last year like the Kansas City Royals did last year.  It was an opportunity for the team to get a jump start on the rebuilding process, as the team had quite a few high profile free agents at the end of the year.  The team struggled, and now they are paying the price as most of those free agents have jumped ship for greener pastures.

Past reports:

Baltimore Chicago AL Houston Atlanta Chicago NL Arizona
Boston Cleveland Los Angeles Miami Cincinnati Colorado
New York AL Detroit Oakland New York NL Milwaukee Los Angeles
Tampa Bay Kansas City Seattle Philadelphia Pittsburgh San Diego
Toronto Minnesota Texas Washington St. Louis San Francisco

 

2017 Record: 80-82, 3rd in the American League Central

Acquisitions: SP Wily Peralta (free agent), SP Jesse Hahn (trade – Oakland), 1B Lucas Duda (free agent)

Departures: 3B Mike Moustakas (free agent), SP Jason Vargas (free agent), RP Trevor Cahill (free agent), 1B Eric Hosmer (free agent), CF Lorenzo Cain (free agent), OF Melky Cabrera (free agent), RP Peter Moylan (free agent), RP Mike Minor (free agent), RP Mike Morin (waivers), RP Joakim Soria (trade – CWS via LAD), Brandon Moss (trade – Oakland)

Projected Lineup:

2B Whit Merrifield

RF Jorge Bonifacio

LF Alex Gordon

C Salvador Perez

1B Lucas Duda

DH Jorge Soler

3B Cheslor Cuthbert

CF Paulo Orlando

SS Alcides Escobar

Projected Rotation:

SP Danny Duffy

SP Ian Kennedy

SP Jason Hummel

SP Jake Junis

SP Nate Karns* (had thoracic outlet surgery in July 2017)

SP Jesse Hahn

Position Battles:

The Royals don’t really have any positional battles this season, but what they do have is a lot of positional flexibility to move guys around.  IF Adalberto Mondesi is probably the one player who could squeeze into the lineup, but given how superior SS Alcides Escobar is defensively, it isn’t likely that Mondesi will fit in.

Outlook:

Yuck.  Comparing this year’s Royals team to the Royals teams of the past few years and that’s the one word I can say that describes this team.  Other than Salvador Perez and last year’s AL stolen base champ Whit Merrifield, there isn’t much to write home about this Royals lineup.  Jorge Bonifacio came up last year and was solid as a rookie and will look to make some more strides as he goes through his sophomore season.  Newly signed first baseman Lucas Duda did hit 30 home runs last year, so he will provide some sorely needed pop to this Royals lineup.  Danny Duffy is the gem of this rotation, and it appears that he has overcome the injury problems that plagued the early part of his career.  Other than Duffy, this rotation is, well, average.  In a weak division the Royals might end up winning 70 games, but this is a team that is on the decline and will need several years of rebuilding their farm system before they can come back up to respectability and challenge the Indians and the Twins for the AL Central.