I’ve not lived up to my name lately, and for that I apologize. Actually I shouldn’t have to apologize; David Glass and Dayton Moore should do that for me. Since they’re obviously not going to, I’m sorry. I’m going to try to fix that this week with five reasons to be optimistic about 2013. It’s not easy right now, what with the Tigers heading to the World Series, to think that this team can compete for a title in 2013. They can, and here’s how:
- While I’ll agree with anyone that David Glass is a miserly old man, he’s still a business man. He knows he has to acquire starting pitching that makes a difference this offseason or is cash cow may be slightly less profitable. I don’t think that means that Glass breaks the bank, but I do think the pressure is on Allard….er Dayton Moore to bring in a good starting pitcher. Not someone that could be good, but someone that is. Whether this happens by trade or not, the pitching will improve in 2013, you can count on it.
- The offense is going to take another step forward. Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar may not be able to improve on 2012, but Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas sure will, in a big way. You have to remember that these two will both be under 24 for a majority of next season. They have a lot of maturing and improving to do, and we’ll see some of it next season.
- Jeff Francoeur will likely improve or get cut. I’ve been saying it all winter, and I still believe it. Frenchy will be your starting right fielder on Opening Day. The difference this year is that the Royals can cut bait without having next year hanging over their head. My expectation is that Frenchy starts until the super two deadline passes and then right field is handed over to Wil Myers. Frenchy will most likely get the choice of being a role player or being cut.
- We will see more power from this club in 2013. I love Kevin Seitzer as a former Royal and especially as a person. I thought it was a complete joke that the Royals fired Seitzer while keeping Moore and Yost. But still, his up the middle/opposite field approach sapped a lot of power away from the like of Moose, Hosmer, Gordon and Butler. I would not be surprised in the least if three of the four set career highs for home runs.
- The Royals were better than their record in 2012. Even their Pythagorean record comes out to 74-88, but beyond that…imagine this team with Salvador Perez for a full season. He posted a 2.8 WAR in half a season. Imagine this team if Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino aren’t lost for the season. Imagine that bullpen with Joakim Soria. Are the Royals going to have injuries in 2013? Of course they are. But the likelihood that they have as many significant injuries at key positions is very, very low.