The ploy seems to have worked, as nobody noticed the Royals winning two games in a row for just the second time this season as the weekend creeps upon us.
Heading into game 30, the boys in blue have put up a 10-19 record, which projects to 106 losses. Things aren’t quite that bleak, though. Over at Baseball Prospectus, they project a team’s “real” level of production based on stats that I am not nearly smart enough to understand, and they peg the Royals expected record at 13-16.
Those three wins would work out to a 73-89 record by season’s end, which is what any reasonable person should expect from a young team getting better.
Of course, the team is really 10-19 and warrants a 5% chance of making the playoffs in BP’s latest standings.
Below is another way of looking at the season, courtesy of The Hardball Times Sparkline Generator. Every up tick is a win, and those marked in red are games decided by two runs or less.
Half of the Royals games this year have been close contests, including three of six losses in a brutal mid-April stretch.
Here is how the Royals bats match up against the rest of the American League.
R/G BA OBP SLG P/PA LD% BABIP BA/RSP
KC 3.86 250 325 390 3.86 17% 305 243
AL 4.67 256 331 405 3.83 18% 291 258
After starting the season about as offensive as a litter of kittens cuddling up to a sleeping Saint Bernard, the team is catching up to the league in rate stats, although runs per game are still woefully low. The big culprit appears to be batting average with runners in scoring position.
The hamstring bug caught the Kansas City Royals this week, sending first baseman Ryan Shealy and right fielder Reggie Sanders to the disabled list. Despite a glut of corner outfielders, the Royals called up top prospect Billy Butler and everyone’s favorite Cal
State Titan, Shane Costa.
Clark Fosler over at Royals Authority has a look at the teams current roster set up. He notes that with Shealy and Sanders on the disabled list alongside Octavio Dotel and Dayton Moore’s Plan for the Future, the team has a very odd configuration.
[N]o backup shortstop or backup centerfielder, three leftfielders, a utility man who can’t play defense but hits like a DH and six, soon to be eight starting pitchers.
My guess is that Costa will be asked to spell DeJesus in centerfield, or perhaps cover for Teahen if he goes over there. Emil Brown is looking more and more like the odd man out and may only get a reprieve from outright release because of Sanders torn hammy.
Oh, and Gil Meche is still earning his money.