Kansas City Royals: Overcoming Obstacles Early On


The Kansas City Royals currently sit at 18-10 and are atop the American League Central after one month into the 2015 season. It hasn’t necessarily come easy though, as the Royals have faced a lot of obstacles early on in the season. From injuries to suspensions to more injuries and more suspensions, it’s easy to understand if the Kansas City Royals had given up.

Luckily our boys in blue have done anything but that, and it’s been fun to watch. The obstacles started on Opening Day when Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija beaned Lorenzo Cain after Mike Moustakas hit a solo home run to give the Royals a 4-0 lead. This might have seemed like nothing at the time, but as more games were played, the Royals continued getting hit by pitches and eventually, these Kansas City Royals had had enough.

Enter the Oakland Athletics series.

We all know the story. Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie slid hard into second base and took out Alcides Escobar in the process. Say what you want, but the slide was dirty. Lawrie might not have intended to hurt Escobar, but the slide was definitely meant to be dirty.

Okay so I won’t get into all of the retaliations that occurred, but it led to reliever Kelvin Herrera throwing behind Lawrie’s head and getting ejected. That weekend series with Oakland consisted of multiple players getting ejected in the span of two games.

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Next up came the Chicago White Sox series. Samardzija was clearly still angry about the Opening Day blowout he suffered at the K, and he and Cain about threw it down after Yordano Ventura and Adam Eaton exchanged words and it led to an all-out brawl at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.

That led to even more suspensions, which several Royals have now served. That alone would be enough to knock a team down and out early on in the season, but instead the Kansas City Royals continued to fight back. No matter what happened, these Royals kept winning games and kept winning series.

That wasn’t the last of it though, as the Kansas City Royals also had to fight through injuries early on in this young season.

Obviously, Escobar has seen some of those injuries after the Lawrie injury and getting hit in the helmet with a pitch against the Indians last week. Alex Rios was injured early on in the season against the Minnesota Twins after his hand was hit by a pitch. Rios has been out since then, and honestly, it seemed bleak at the time. Rios was one of the Royals’ best hitters and Jarrod Dyson struggled to play decently in right field to start off.

The Royals were getting smacked down by other teams who wanted to get a piece of these American League champions, but the Royals haven’t backed down.

Another injury was when Omar Infante strained his groin in that nasty Athletics series and saw some time on the bench, but Christian Colon has stepped in nicely for both him and Escobar.

One that seemed big at the time was closer Greg Holland going to the 15-day disabled list after a strained pectoral muscle was bothering him. The Royals bullpen is scary good though, and Wade Davis was able to slide right into the closer role, notching six saves during that span. Holland returned on Thursday and he looked like his normal self, which was a relief to say the least now that Herrera is serving a six-game suspension, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.

Again, it’d have been easy to understand if these Kansas City Royals had given up early on in the season. Last year’s Royals struggled through obstacles at times and many thought that the longer the season went on, the more they’d fall out of any type of race.

This year’s team is different though.

The Royals were getting smacked down by other teams who wanted to get a piece of these American League champions, but the Royals haven’t backed down. The suspensions and injuries have been tough obstacles, but it’s nice to see that the 2015 Kansas City Royals have a huge amount of fight in them.

Next: What to Expect From Kris Medlen

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