Kansas City Royals have too many weaknesses to compete

Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas - (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas - (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals are off to an excruciatingly terrible start, and there is little to indicate they can be competitive this season.

On the eve of the season, the Kansas City Royals were dealt a big blow when their best player, catcher Salvador Perez, hurt his knee carrying his luggage upon his return from Spring Training.

The Royals haven’t been able to get on track without their clubhouse leader and field general. While Perez may return to the Majors sometime this week or early next week, according to Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com, it may already be too late.

The Royals, off to a 3-12 start, have been plagued by numerous cancellations and haven’t found their flow yet. Neither their pitching or hitting has been very good so far, though all three wins came by shutouts.

Through Tuesday’s games, they are toward the bottom of the Majors in numerous statistical categories.

  • Home Runs – 29th – 9
  • Runs Scored – (t) 29th – 46
  • Slugging Percentage – 24th – .350
  • Stolen Bases – 28th – 4
  • Doubles – 24th – 23
  • Base on Balls – 30th – 41
  • Bullpen ERA – 30th – 6.75
  • Team ERA – 25th- 4.65
  • Strikeouts by Pitchers – 27th – 113

Their rotation hasn’t been terrible as it sits 9th in the Majors with a 3.44 ERA, and their batters have the second fewest strikeouts with 111.

There just isn’t enough positives to overcome the plethora of negatives. Not even Perez will be able to make a significant difference, though adding his power will be a plus.

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The Royals are not going to lose 80 percent of the games all season. There will be some hot streaks here and there but it is only a matter of time before there will be a firesale. Mike Moustakas and Lucas Duda will certainly be gone. Probably Kelvin Herrera, too. All three of these players have performed well so far.

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Unfortunately, fan favorite Danny Duffy could also be gone as the Royals look to cash in on whatever value they may have. Duffy, even though he hasn’t started as strong he might have liked, might be the biggest trading chip Kansas City has.

Neither Moustakas or Duda will bring in a big haul, and there might need to be some injuries at corner infield spots around the league for there to be much interest.

Fan favorite Whit Merrifield might be safe, though. Even if he recovers from a slow start, there probably won’t be much of a market for a 29-year old second baseman who might have had his career season last year.

There are other pieces that might be sent packing. John Jay could have some slight value as a proven veteran with good defensive skills. Ian Kennedy has started hot and if he continues to pitch well, he also might find some suitors, though the $33 million he’s owed after this season could be a detriment.

The Royals need to fix their bullpen. They have some exciting young arms in the pen but they also have three relievers with ERAs over 11.00 (one – Brandon Maurer – has already been sent down). Veteran Blaine Boyer has an ERA of 25.20 in six appearances! Either replace or fix these pitchers and the bullpen should improve mightily.

Hunter Dozier deserves a chance soon. He is off to a good start at AAA Omaha, slashing .308/.426/.462/.887, but there is no obvious place for him with both Moustakas and Duda on the roster. There doesn’t appear to be much offensive help at AAA outside of Dozier.

Fans are just going to have to live with this team. It is not going to win a lot of games, and it is hard to connect with players who you suspect won’t be around in August. The Kansas City Royals can only hope players like Moustakas, Duda, Duffy, Herrera, and Kennedy can continue to play well enough to build up some value as the season progresses.

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The most exciting thing this season might have to offer is to see how far up the franchise Home Run list Mike Moustakas can crawl before he is traded. He has a great shot at solidifying himself in the top ten! It’s something to look forward to at least!