Cleat Geeks

The Royals will Lose their Crown

KCRingI have seen quite a few publications on baseball predictions for the upcoming season. Now granted, these are almost a waste of time because something inevitably happens during the season that we do not expect that changes the entire complexion of the baseball world. Injuries, trades, chemistry….something. But it is so fun to try to predict, I just can’t help myself!

The Kansas City Royals were last seasons World Series Champions. They rode a huge wave of momentum from the end of the season through the post-season all the way to a parade with an estimated 850,000 people, which is bigger than the population of Kansas City Missouri. The Royals were literally larger than life, but this year they will be cut down to size. I predict that they will finish 3rd in the AL Central Division behind the division winning Detroit Tigers and Wild Card team Cleveland Indians, and not even make the play-offs. Here are my reasons why.

Pitching

General Manager Dayton Moore admitted that the Royals need better starting pitching this upcoming year with this quote, “We need a deeper and more consistent rotation. We feel on paper we have that.” The Royals have only two returning starters who threw more than 150 innings, they are Edinson Volquez and Yordano Ventura and they only pitched 363.2 innings combined last year. Ian Kennedy has averaged around 195 innings over the last 6 seasons, he has been in baseball 9 seasons with 3 in the AL and he owns a 6.03 ERA in those 3 years.Volquez

The rotation as a whole finished last as a whole in the entire American League with only 912 2/3 innings, they were tied for last in WHIP at 1.37 and 12th out of 15 teams with a 4.34 ERA. The saving grace for the Royals was there bullpen. I understand that is the way they are built, with a league leading lowest 2.72 ERA but that is not sustainable in my opinion especially loosing closer Greg Holland and Ryan Madson it is not sustainable. Plus there bullpen pitched a league high 539 1/3 innings.

Career Years

Hosmer11st baseman Eric Hosmer set career highs with 93 RBI’s, 98 Runs and a 363 on base plus slugging percentage. Mike Moustakas in nearly every major offensive category with 22 home runs, 82 RBI’s. In the years 2013 and 2014 he had a combined 45 multi-hit games yet, in 2015 he had 43. Kendrys Morales had a remarkable 53 2 out RBI’s the best he had done since 2009 with the Angels and came in 2nd for the entire league in that category trailing only Nolan Arenado for the 2015 season. You also have the good combined numbers on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball that is Lorenzo Cain. So good in fact that he finished 3rd in the AL MVP race. They lost right fielder Alex Rios and his 22 doubles, and did not replace him. So, you are asking all your hitters to duplicate their career years and then some? I don’t see all of them doing that for the 2nd year in a row.

Summary

In summary you are leaving very little margin for error, little margin for regression. Plus, if you start to look at the back-ups at most of the positions, such as 3rd base, where Moose’s back-up has a whole 19 games experience in the majors. Now, there is no room for injury and we all know at least one of these pieces will go down for a significant amount of time.

Lastly, as you can see I am a numbers man. However I do believe in the power of the human spirit. In baseball, that is called chemistry. I do believe in it, but there is one problem with chemistry, it is great when you are winning. And starts to crumble like day old bread when you are loosing.

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