Kansas City Royals: Now It’s Over

Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Joakim Soria. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Joakim Soria. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas City Royals have been officially eliminated from the 2016 MLB postseason.  This puts a cap on a frustrating season for the team and fans.

Last night, the Kansas City Royals hopes for the 2016 postseason were ended on the back of a Baltimore Orioles win.  It has been a tough season for the Royals organization and its fans.  Fresh off a World Series victory, and with mostly the same lineup, hopes were high for 2016.  However, things did not go the way we expected this year for a number of reasons.

Off the top, you have to recognize the role that injuries played on the 2016 campaign.  Third baseman Mike Moustakas and starting pitcher Jason Vargas missed the majority of the season.  Both players were expected to play big roles for the Royals.  On top of that, surprise star pitcher Danny Duffy, and star outfielder Lorenzo Cain also missed significant time during the year.

Problems On The Field

However, even apart from the injuries, the 2016 Kansas City Royals simply did not play that well this year.  This was especially true of the starting rotation.  Apart from Danny Duffy, who I mentioned missed time to injury, the starters were not very good.  The trio of Edinson Volquez, Yordano Ventura, and Ian Kennedy put up as many losses as they did victories.

The pitching struggles extended to the bullpen.  The Royals struggled with injuries to their reliever staff.  That led to manager Ned Yost relying heavily on re-signed reliever Joakim Soria.  Soria was once the gem of Royals baseball, but his return to KC was less than stellar.  Soria didn’t pitch badly, just not as well as Kansas City needed him to.  Soria’s eight losses could easily have been the difference in making the playoffs this year.

The problems went beyond the pitching staff though.  The Kansas City Royals struggled at the plate for much of the season.  Some of KC’s most reliable players dropped their production this year.  Most notable were the drops in batting averages for Alex Gordon, Kendrys Morales, Eric Hosmer, and Salvador Perez.  The Royals stars simply were not hitting like they did in 2015.

All in all, it was a perfect storm of problems for the Kansas City Royals.  Frankly, it’s amazing the team was still in the hunt this late in the season.  Personally, I’m ready to put this year in the rearview mirror and look ahead to 2017.

Next: Kansas City Royals: Five Reasons The Royals Missed The Playoffs

The Royals will look to re-tool the team for the 2017 season.  There are a few offseason decisions to make with Eddie Volquez and Kendrys Morales.  The Royals will also have to look for ways to boost the starting rotation if they want to return to the playoffs next year.