Lorenzo Cain

Kansas City Royals, surprise contenders in 2012?

Could this be true?

Despite the loss of Joakim Soria and Salvador Perez, with Johnny Giavotella being sent back to the minors and Bruce Chen, the opening day starter, being blown up in spring training, are the Royals really a contender in 2012?

The Royals  have just one winning season in the last 17, when they went 83-79 in 2003 to finish third in the American League Central, seven games behind division champion Minnesota and have not made a playoff appearance since the team’s 1985 World Series Championship.

None of this matters, long time baseball writer, Jeff Saukaitis, likes what the Royals have going for them.

Saukaitis especially likes Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain in the outfield, and what’s not to like so far in 2012? Cain is batting .431 with a 1.316 OPS, Gordon is hitting .426 with a 1.161 OPS.

In fact, Saukaitis likes the lineup all the way down.

As we could guess, Saukaitis, really questions the pitching staff and the erratic history of Jonathan Sanchez and the short, yet erratic, history of Danny Duffy. He projects Greg Holland to get the first crack at the closer’s job, but closely watched by Jonathan Broxton.

The key are the young pitching prospects, who are behind the hitters in arriving to the Major Leagues.

Do the Royals have a shot at the AL Central title?

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