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Mar 5, 2013; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler (right) stands on the dugout stairs before an at bat during the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Season Preview: What We Know

It’s Opening Day! Not only will we all get a fix of real, meaningful baseball today but we will also feature our last set of KC Kingdom predictions. Staff writer Jacob Meysenburg, and co-editors Ben Nielsen and Joel Wagler, will each present their take on the upcoming season for the Royals. These will be posted separately throughout the morning and early afternoon and will be written in the unique style of each person. We hope you have as much reading them as we have had putting them together. You can find Joel’s piece here and Jacob’s here.

You never really know. But when they know, you’ll know. You know? – Crush the Turtle in “Finding Nemo”

December 12, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher James Shields speaks during the press conference at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

THINGS I DON’T KNOW

I don’t know if James Shields will be the godsend the Royals need to compete with Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and the 22 other guys who get to play with Verlander, Cabrera, and Fielder.

I don’t know if Mike Moustakas will put together a full season where he slugs 30 homers and plays strong defense at third; if Eric Hosmer will turn the corner and become the star his tools say he can be; if Lorenzo Cain can stay healthy for a full season.

I don’t know if Wade Davis will figure it out in the rotation; if Luis Mendoza is for real; if Luke Hochevar‘s move to the bullpen will bring out the talent we thought we were getting when KC took him number one overall in 2006.

I don’t know if Ned Yost will lose his mind and get himself fired again should Kansas City end up in a playoff race; if Moore will have the freedom to expand the payroll if necessary to make a deadline deal for a missing piece or if he’ll make the right move; if David Glass could find Kansas City on a map.

I definitely don’t know how the dynamic ticket pricing thing is going to work out for my ability to go to baseball games this summer.

THINGS I DO KNOW

I know this is the best rotation the Royals have had since 1994. I know this is not a better rotation than what the Royals had in 1994.

I know this isn’t like 2004 when we added Juan Gonzalez and said we were ready to contend; this isn’t like 2009 when we added Mike Jacobs, Coco Crisp, Willie Bloomquist and said we were contenders; this isn’t like 2003 when a 70-win team accidentally won 83 games.

I know there will be a trade made to replace Chris Getz or Jeff Francoeur before the trade deadline.

I know Danny Duffy will quit and then re-start being on twitter at least two times this season; Sluggerrrrr will never be the same ever again when he dances with the K-Crew girls; Dayton Moore will get an extension if the Royals are in serious contention come August.

July 20, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) gets set behind home plate with umpire D.J. Reyburn (70) against the Minnesota Twins during the fourth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

THINGS I KNOW WHILE I LOOK (KINDA) AROUND THE HORN

I look and see Perez at the plate, and I know he is better than Humberto Quintaro and Brayan Pena. I also know Perez is the best defensive catcher in the American League right now.

I look to right field in Tampa Bay and do not see Wil Myers. I also know Wil Myers is not as good as the hype. I know more things about right field, like Jeff Francoeur cannot possibly be as bad as last season. But I also know that if he challenges that truth, the Royals will trade for someone who can play right field for him.

I look to second base and know that Yuniesky Betancourt will not be starting there by the end of May. I also know that if Getz plays at or slightly above replacement level and can play 145 games this season, the Royals will be fine.

I look at the Opening Day starter and do not see Bruce Chen or Luke Hochevar or Scott Elarton or Jose Lima or Brian Anderson or Runelvys Hernandez or Jeff Suppan. Instead I see James Shields, and I know this is WAY better than Chen, Hochevar, Lima, Anderson, Hernandez, or Suppan. I mean waaaaaaaay better.

I look at shortstop and know Alcides Escobar is the biggest sleeper candidate for a breakout season with the bat. I also know that he has had those braces on his teeth for far too long.

I look to left field and actively ignore all of the articles written on Alex Gordon being a sleeper candidate for MVP. I know if I don’t, I’ll be let down when he doesn’t even get a vote.

I look to first base and I know Eric Hosmer will be at least as good as he was his rookie season.

August 21, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Kansas City Royals defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

THINGS I DO NOT KNOW BUT WILL GUESS ABOUT ANYWAY

Total Royals Victories: 85 (give or take three)

Final Standing in the AL Central: Second place behind the Detroit Tigers.

Longest Winning Streak: 8

Longest Losing Streak: 5

Season Total Attendance at Kauffman: 1,999,998.5

Team MVP: Alex Gordon

Offensive Player of the Year: Billy Butler

Defensive Player of the Year: Lorenzo Cain

Number of Times Rex Hudler Appologizes for Something He Said or Did On-Air: 93

Mike Moustakas Home Run Total: 29

Eric Hosmer OPS: .812

Alcides Escobar Errors: 13

Salvador Perez Slash Line: .292/.331/.479

James Shields Wins: 16

Danny Duffy Starts: 12

Odds “Country Breakfast” Becomes a Breakfast Promotion at a KC Establishment: 4-to-1

 

 

Tags: Kansas City Royals

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