Kansas City Royals: Climbing out of the basement

Kansas City Royals. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Royals. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas City Royals are no longer sitting at the bottom of the AL Central, after stringing together several strong series to get ahead of the White Sox.

There hasn’t been a whole lot for Kansas City Royals fans to get excited about this year. For the most part, all anyone has been talking about is when the team will begin to sell off it’s pending free agents. However, after a string of quality series, the Royals are now heading in the right direction.

It is the right kind of play at the right time for Kansas City. The Royals have been on the brink of falling into baseball oblivion again. Most pundits have already written them off and view KC as a likely seller in the next couple of weeks. However, the Royals have battled back with some impressive games, especially in their recent match up with the Astros.

The Houston Astros came into Kansas City riding a 10-game winning streak and holding a strong claim as the best team in baseball. It certainly appeared that would continue after the first game of the Houston-Kansas City series. The Astros looked dominant in a 7-3 victory. However, the Royals would bounce back and win two impressive games to eventually split the series.

Those two wins, along with a loss for the White Sox, pushed Kansas City out of the AL Central cellar and into fourth place. The Royals then solidified their spot with by taking two of three against the Padres. That has resulted in a two and a half game cushion over Chicago..

It’s Been A Tough Road

Between some flat out ugly baseball to start the year and the Royals well-documented history of struggles, it’s been tough for many fans to be excited this year. However, at the same time there is still plenty of the residual optimism from the 2014 and 2015 campaigns. That has led to fans, analysts, and pundits being all over the map for KC.

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Professionally, it behooves most writers covering the Royals to point out the facts about where the team has been this year. Everything pointed to a fire sale on the horizon. It made sense for Kansas City to start exploring the market to see what they could get for their pending free agents.

Personally, most of us have been holding out hope that the team was just a couple wins away from getting things going. Much of this roster was a part of the scrappy teams that turned the league on its head just a couple years ago.

Trust me, it’s not easy writing about the pending doom of your favorite team when you’re secretly holding out hope that it’s just a phase.

Turning It Around

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So how have the Royals gotten to this point? Plain and simple, the team as a whole is starting to play much better. Mike Moustakas has emerged as a legitimate power hitter, despite playing in one of the toughest home run ballparks. Eric Hosmer has started playing up to his potential. Whit Merrifield is emerging into a quality player.

The rest of the team is also playing better. At the beginning of the year, the Royals couldn’t hit anything. There is still a ton of room for improvement, but there has also been a ton of improvement already made.

Kansas City is also getting some very important wins. If they can keep going in this direction, they could certainly break .500 before the All-Star break. If that happens, then the Royals will be legit contenders for the AL Central crown.

The Kansas City Royals are still in “no man’s land” as far as their record. Something has to give for this team one way or another. If the Royals can string together some wins, then Dayton Moore may have been justified in not pulling the trade trigger. If things fall apart, there is still plenty of time to capitalize on the trade market.