Since being only 3 games under .500 and sniffing the top of the division the Kansas City Royals have done nothing but struggle.
The pitching has been horrendous while the bats have seem to come alive a little in the month of July. The batting order has produced the best average in the major leagues for the month of July. The biggest problem with that is the lack of extra base hits when needed and hitting with runners on base so that when they can put a team away they can do it without relying on a pitching staff that has not helped out at all.
The question surrounding the organization now is how to keep fans interested one and even more how to get them to go out to the K to watch a team that is everything but mathematically out of the playoffs. One way that they Royals can make some noise with their fans is by making a trade or two over the next five days before the non-waiver trade deadline on Tuesday afternoon. One trade that would help fan get excited would the to tade away right fielder Jeff Franceour. Now Frenchy is a fan favorite and also a good clubhouse guy but not only is he terrible at the plate as of the last few weeks but he is blocking players that seem to be the future in Kansas City. At the big leauge level alone, he seems to be blocking Jarrod Dyson from getting any playing time not only because he is taking up an outfield spot but the team just cannot afford to have center fielder Lorenzo Cain out of the lineup right now. The biggest Royal’s commodity that Frenchy seems to be blocking from he major leaues is number one hitting prospect Wil Myers. Over the last few weeks in AAA Omaha Myers has regressed some but everything out of Omaha says that he is seeing a lot fewer fastballs and just hasnt adjusted to seeing all junk while at the plate. Matter of fact is that whether he can hit a curveball right now or not he could probably at least hit somewhere north of the .242 mark that Franceour is currently sporting. Not saying that he will be an instant success but at least it would be a development process and not a guy who seems to not know what pitches to swing at and which ones to take. .242 is not good at any level especially when it is in front of guys who need to be in Kansas City to prepare for their future.
Another thing that could put the fans in their seats is if the Royals go out and get some kind of pitching that is not Jeremy Guthrie. Nothing against that trade or the fact that it could end up being an okay thing for this season but that is not a name that is going to bring people to the ball park. If the Royals were to show that they are committing to this town and this team with a blockbuster deal that would help for not only the next two months but also for the next 24 months or so people would get excited. The names have been thrown around the league of guys that are available but will the Royals bite. They have the prospects it seems that would attract teams to answer the phone when general manager Dayton Moore comes a calling. Not only that they could trade guys like Jonathan Broxton, Yuniesky Betancourt and Franceour, get prospects for them and then flip those prospects for a guy who is in the bigs already and coud help the team now and in the future.
Th simple fact is this. The Royals would have to do something miraculous to play into October this season. But they could keep everyone interested by making a late season run of good baseball along with the addition of a guy or two that will help in the future. Training Camp is open in St. Joseph, Missouri for the Chiefs this week and if the Royals do not try and keep the fans interest, the fans will focus their attention to the other side of the Truman Sports Complex and just wait for Opening Day 2013 for a fresh start.