A famous Missourian once said, “There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation – veneer isn’t worth anything.” The Royals management and coaches must believe the philosophy this quote contains to be true because they have stuck to their guns this season. They have stayed committed to having a young team that has vast potential and has shown only the early signs of blossoming into a contending team this season. However, this week they did a few things that some teams have been trying to do for a while.
The Royals started out last weekend by taking two out of three from the Devil Rays, and then moved on to Boston where they split the four game set with the AL East leading Red Sox. The Red Sox series included a thrilling close game that handed Josh Beckett his first loss in nearly a month. The Royals are in Cleveland for this weekend before coming back home to host the Orioles and the Tigers.
On Friday night, the bats continued to stay hot. Melky Cabrera and Alex Gordon each hit a homer while Billy Butler (who homered in his third consecutive game) hit two. Jeff Francis was equally impressive as the offense was, and pitched eight scoreless innings before being relieved by Blake Wood in the ninth.
The Royals have not shown a lot of power this year on consistent level, but this team is not built like Yankees or Rangers who count on the long ball. However, the Royals are very capable of extra base hits. They are third in the American League in doubles and second in triples. They continue to pace the A.L. in stolen bases while still maintaining a top five standing in team batting average out the entire MLB. They are near the bottom of the list when it comes to the amount of times they strike out, which means they are still putting the ball in play.
The defense continues to play solid behind the pitching with a MLB leading in range factor and second in double plays turned (the Texas Rangers being the only team with more). Moustakas and Hosmer are solidifying themselves on the field, which solidifies the entire infield now. They also are starting to come around offensively as well.
The pitching had another roller coaster week. They pitched well enough to win five out of the last seven but looked downright horrible in those two losses. They are taking their lumps and are improving but it’s like flipping a coin every night if you’re Ned Yost. “Which version of my staff is going to show up tonight?”
Another quote by the same famous Missourian from the beginning of the article,
“Where there is no vision there is no hope.” George Washington Carver
The trade deadline is this Sunday and it looks like the Royals GM stood true to his word and kept his team intact. There is still time left but he intends to keep moving forward with his plan. He sees the hope that the coaches and the fans see in this team. When he was hired, he started rebuilding the Royals’ farm system with quality draft picks and trades, he had a vision and now it is coming to fruition. There is hope in Kansas City again. Hope that this young team has been feeding on all season.