Red Hot Hitting
The Royals are going into the weekend series against the Tigers with the fact that they have outscored their opponents in the past two series with a combined score of 36-22. This included a 12-0 rout of the Indians last Friday and a 9-4 win just this past Thursday against the Orioles.
During the past week, it’s not just the people who you’d expect to hit the ball such as Alex Gordon and Billy Butler (who are both hitting over .400 during the last ten games) but everyone (one through nine) is hitting the ball well. If it isn’t one Royal one night, then another stepped up to fill the gap.
It’s all well and good to hit well but it takes solid pitching efforts to hold and protect the leads that they are given. Luke Hochevar had a very solid outing on Wednesday night against the Orioles, while notching his eighth win of the season and bringing his record up to .500 on the season.
The bullpen has been solid this week giving up little to nothing most of the week. The defense has made a few mistakes this week but none that cost the team the game in the end. Escobar continues to show flashes of brilliance and yet has the consistency that Coach Ned Yost and his staff has come to expect from their starting shortstop.
With the trade deadline now past the Royals’ fans can now anticipate late season call ups but there might not be that many if the Omaha Storm Chasers continue their dominance down in AAA. They are currently twelve games over .500 and five games up on their closest divisional competitor.
I did find out after attending Thursday night’s game in Omaha that the Royals want Johnny Giavotella with the big league team now. After watching a few highlights and watching him play in a rain soaked environment last night, he is the real deal. The Royals are anticipating him being the starting second basemen and demoting Chris Getz to the backup role. Chris Getz is by far the better defensive player but Giavotella has hit .339 for Omaha this season with nine home runs and seventy-two RBIs. This move was anticipated and now the Royals will have all four of the infield positions filled with talent that they drafted and produced in their farm system.
With a starting infield under the age of twenty-five and the fact that all four of them have played together at some point in their young careers, this is a very wise move by the organization. Over the next seven weeks or so will be a preview of what the 2012 Royals will look like. The Royals laid the foundation over the past few years with quality draft picks and now are on the precipice of seeing the fruits of the labor.