After a strong start to 2013, the Kansas City Royals ended last week losing a three in a row to the injury plagued New York Yankees. The Royals finished the week losing six of seven and find themselves two games behind the first place Indians with a record of 18-16.
In the first edition of Royals Weekend Rundown, let’s recap the week that was shall we?
Best of the Week: Alex Gordon
Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer deserve some credit for getting the monkey off their backs and belting their first home runs of the season (Moustakas hit three this week). This still doesn’t top Gordon’s monstrous week in which he slugged three homers, scored five runs, drove in eight, and hit .393.
Ned Yost made perhaps his best move as Royals skipper by moving Gordon to the three-hole to generate more run production. Right now he’s hitting .400 with a 1.108 OPS in that spot.
While the production is over a small sample size, its a testament to Gordon’s growth as a ballplayer and the Royal’s patience the last few years. Look at the numbers from the two halves of his career to date:
2007-2010: .244 Avg. / 45 HR / 161 RBI / .320 OBP / .404 SLG
2011-2013: .301 Avg. / 43 HR / 187 RBI / .365 OBP / .482 SLG
Gordon has gone from the brink of receiving the dreaded “bust” and demotion to making a name for himself as a cornerstone player for the club. If he keeps this up for another two months, I would be shocked if he isn’t selected to his first All Star team.
Worst of the Week: Billy Butler and Alcides Escobar
One could argue that this should go to the entire Royals offense except for the aforementioned Alex Gordon. The team hit an abysmal .233 this week averaging around four runs per game.
While Escobar and Butler don’t deserve all the blame, they stand out because they hit first and fourth in the order respectively and hit a combined .105 (6-for-57) this week. No need to worry, I expect both will bounce back soon in the next couple weeks against weaker pitching.
The Road Ahead: Go West Young Men…
Monday night marks the first of a 10-game road West Coast road trip starting in Anaheim against the soul-searching Angels. The Halos begin the series with a record of 14-23 and have at least found some rhythm on offense. However, their pitching staff is still a mess. Kansas City will face Joe Blanton, Jason Vargas, and Barry Enright who are a combined 1-10 and could help the Royals heat up. After the three game stint in Anaheim, the Royals head to Oakland for a three game set with the A’s.
Probable Pitchers vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:
Follow Adam Rozwadowski on Twitter @adam_roz