A Pessimist’s View Of The 2014 Kansas City Royals

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Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

 

It’s a small window. But it’s a window of opportunity that will take a laundry list of things to happen for the Kansas City Royals to leap through that window to the postseason.

Last season was a fun year, but it wasn’t good enough. Their 86-76 record was the best season for the Royals since 1989 and they still finished seven games back in the American League Central and five and a half games back in the Wild Card Standings.

The buzz this off season seems be that they’ll be better. But will that be enough?

I am far from convinced. So many things have gone wrong for this organization in the nearly 30 years since winning The World Series, a depressingly long laundry list in its own right. But this season, there’s a chance, albeit a small one.

We’ve been tricked into thinking this several times in recent memory. In 2004 the Kansas City Royals signed Juan Gonzalez and Benito Santiago among others. It was an utter failure. And that’s not to compare 2004 with 2014. There are few similarities other than to say the Royals will be the trendy pick to with the AL Central.

Admittedly, I am a suffocating pessimist when it comes to the Royals. Friends tire quickly of my negative texts during games. So excuse me if my view of the 2014 opportunity for the Royals is as a tiny, minuscule little window.

Nearly everything has to go right for them to have a shot. Nearly every offensive player needs to improve his numbers from last year. Every pitcher needs to replicate his 2013 performance.

So with 18 days until pitchers and catchers report, click Next to see my top four reasons why the Royals won’t be able to keep pace with the Tigers in the American League Central.

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Tags: Dayton Moore James Shields Kansas City Royals Luke Hochevar Mike Moustakas Salvador Perez

  • jimfetterolf

    Quite a depressing list, but somewhat accurate. My take is that the Royals finally have talent and depth, so after that it gets down to health and luck, like with the Angels and Blue Jays last year.

    In reverse order, Royals are looking at a payroll of about $95-$105m, so David Glass is willing to sign paychecks if they get the team closer to the playoffs, something possible now but not possible even three years ago. Dayton Moore has done his job of taking a system worse than and expansion team and making it relevant again in a small market with a bad TV contract. There have been two major mistakes at the macro level, one involving training, which has been addressed, the other involving minor league parks, which may not be possible to fix.

  • jimfetterolf

    Catcher is a problem beyond Perez. I would have kept Kottaras as a LH bat, but he wasn’t a best option. Beyond Hayes, they did sign a Pena who has possibilities, but definitely not a good situation. Catcher has the weakest depth on the squad and needs to be addressed.

  • jimfetterolf

    I know that it is hip to bash Yost, but what is seen as loyalty may really be lack of depth. Only obvious replacement for Moose last year was Gordon, this year there is Valencia, Bonifacio, and Colon at Omaha. Moose’s leash will be much shorter in ’14 and if he starts bad and Colon shows some consistency in Omaha they could trade places by May, a month after the obvious platoon starts.

    As for Moose’s problems, they are the same as Hosmer starting last year; his feet, hips, hands, and head are out of synch. Time for him to listen to coaches and start watching video.

  • jimfetterolf

    The two guys with experience do have comparable arms, more pitches under command than Ventura, and more command in general than Duffy. We’re not talking Louis Mendoza as a fall back option, instead the old guys throw middle to upper ’90s and can throw strikes. Both have issues, but on talent and ceiling both also have that. Spring training will sort out the arms and Luke may have the inside track as he’s fixed his problem with men on base. Davis is more complex because the problem is emotional and distorts his mechanics, according to Wade Davis. Both will do for a couple of months ’til Ventura forces his way up by polishing his 3rd pitch, maybe getting a 4th for show, and dominates Omaha for about six of eight starts.

    Good problem to have, five guys with plus arms competing for two spots. I’m willing to see how it plays out.

  • jimfetterolf

    My guess is 85-95 wins with a pick of 90 wins with average health and luck. The team is better than last year.

    Good piece, enjoyed it.