The Kansas City Royals suffered injury after injury in 2016 yet still managed to go 81-81 on the year. Imagine how well they’d have done had those injuries not occurred.
That’s why in the 2017 season, it’s crucial for the KC Royals to stay healthy. This seems like common sense for any team, but for the Royals, a team without a ton of money to spend on playmakers, it’s imperative.
Let’s take a look at all of the injuries in 2016 and how they impacted the season, shall we?
First, there was Mike Moustakas, who only played in 27 games last season. Moustakas collided with Alex Gordon (more on him later) while going after a foul ball and it ended up costing him his entire 2016 campaign.
In order for the Kansas City Royals to remain in contention in 2017, their entire roster has to be as healthy as possible.
Without Moose in the lineup, the Royals missed their biggest power guy. Moustakas had a breakout year in 2015 and what do you know? The Royals won the World Series that year. Had Moose stayed healthy, the Royals might have made another push for a title last season.
Second, Lorenzo Cain comes to mind. Sure, Cain appeared in 103 games, but his injury proneness came back to light this past season, and the Royals offense suffered as a result.
Cain’s first major injury of the season occurred near the end of June. What happened next, you ask? Well, the Royals went on to win seven games in the month of July. SEVEN GAMES.
Not having Cain in the lineup weakens this Royals offense and it showed when the outfielder went down frequently last season. Cain makes the difference in the lineup and without him, something is off with the rest of the team’s bats.
Third, there’s Alex Gordon. Gordon was coming off a franchise deal with the Royals and might have felt he had more to prove than everyone else because of that. Instead, the former Nebraska Cornhusker floundered after getting injured on that collision with Moustakas.
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Gordon missed the next month and never recovered offensively after hurting his wrist. Gordon slashed .220/.312/.380, which was his worst outing since 2010, WHEN HE STILL PLAYED THIRD BASE.
Not to mention all of the injuries that occurred in the bullpen and starting rotation all together that forced players we’d never heard of to pitch in games.
Davis’ two stints on the disabled list eventually pushed Kelvin Herrera into the closer role, and that actually worked out well. Davis was traded this offseason as a result of the Royals feeling comfortable with Herrera as their closer.
In order for the Kansas City Royals to remain in contention in 2017, their entire roster has to be as healthy as possible. That seems like common sense to most teams, but for the Royals, it’s even more critical.
If the Royals want to keep up with the stacked Cleveland Indians, then their only hope is to stay injury-free. Injury-free, after all, is how the Royals got so lucky in both 2014 and 2015.
Hopefully that luck returns to Kansas City for the 2017 season.