Last night was a fantastic display of this town’s baseball fire. Someone finally gave us a reason to cheer (and boo) and we did not shy away. I’m not going to talk about the All-Star Game and all the festivities that surrounded it. It was great for the city, let’s move on.
The Royals were so up and down the first half of the season, that it has left a huge question mark hovering above the remaining schedule. I’m going to break down some topics that have been bouncing around my head for the past few weeks.
Why not start with the man leading the charge? Ned Yost has made so many questionable decisions with his lineups. Something I don’t see questioned too often is the placement of Jeff Francoeur. Ned Yost is notorious for shifting “struggling” players up and down, and giving players breaks. Well that just isn’t the case when it comes to Jeff Francoeur.
Guess who has the 2nd most AB’s on the Royals?
Why is that you ask? Isn’t he awful at getting on base and driving in runs?
Well I don’t have an honest answer to that question, it really isn’t explainable. Francoeur has barely moved from his 5 spot all season long, even with holding one of the worst OBP (.289) on the Royals. He has only driven in 25 runs, while a player who has half of his games played has already passed him (Yuni).
With all of that evidence, why has Ned Yost continued to allow Francoeur to play everyday? He has given breaks to players and moved other players around. What makes Francoeur so special? Let’s not forget he is currently blocking one of the best prospects in all of minor league baseball, Wil Myers. These questions are hard to ignore as the Royals enter the second half of the 2012 season.
The Rotation and Pitching in General
There is no reason what so ever, that the Royals should continue to allow Jonathan Sanchez to walk out there every 5 days and pitch. How can you take the Royals seriously when they allow this to happen and show no signs of slowing it down? 3 of the starting pitchers for the Royals rest within the top 10 for the worst ERAs in baseball (Sanchez 6.75, Chen 5.22, Hochevar 5.14) It’s obviously been hard with the struggles of losing 4 pitchers to Tommy John surgery, but these are 3 pitchers who were supposed to be leading this rotation anyway.
That being said, Hochevar has flashed signs of great pitching lately. Our only hope is that it wasn’t another fluke. We need someone to step up.
If the Royals don’t bring in some help, should they kiss this season goodbye? Absolutely.
Lorenzo Cain and Chris Getz
The Royals will have some fresh faces back in the lineup this coming Friday night. The return of CF Lorenzo Cain should provide an immediate boost to the position. Jarrod Dyson has been completely subpar (Although he has gotten on base better than Frenchy). 2B Chris Getz will return as well, and he has played solid this year when healthy. The Royals should benefit greatly from these 2 additions, IF they can both stay on the field.
There is a glimmer of hope out there, and the entire fan base can feel it. This team can be good, the potential is there. I want to believe, otherwise it’s going to be another summer lost to the anchors of our national past time.
Another summer of me wanting new ownership, another summer of “there’s always next year”. .
As the great Red Sox team of 2004 once asked,
Why not us?