Monday, April 22, 2013

Do Off Days Lead to "Off" Days?

Editor's Note: The following begins a series of cross-posts with a new blog my friend Michael Clifford started, Cool, Dense Air. I will be posting other, non-Royals thoughts over there in addition to the sporadic KC content the few of you who stop by have come to love. Please be sure to check it out.

In the last week, the Kansas City Royals have spent almost as many days not playing baseball as they have actually going to a ballpark and getting some dirt in their cleats.

One day was lost because of the Boston lock down on Friday, but before that, there was an odd juxtaposition of off-days surrounding a two-game series with the Atlanta Braves.

Monday was another off-day for travel from Boston to Detroit, giving the Royals four days off and four days on since they beat the Blue Jays on April 12.

Momentum is a difficult thing to gauge in baseball, and the adage is probably true that it has more to due with who is taking the mound the next day than anything else, but I think rhythm is something to be considered.

The Royals have lost every game after an off-day so far this year. That's four of their seven defeats. Several young players (I'm looking at you, Moose and Hos) are having a hard time finding their groove after raking in Spring Training, and Ned Yost may want to put them on the bench for a game or two to clear their heads, but how can he when they've had plenty of time to think between ballgames as it is.

In fact, that may be the problem. A lot of off-days in April helps stretch out the pitching staff, but it also breaks the routine of the everyday guys.

Coming off of two great wins against the Red Sox, I don't think anybody wants to spend a day relaxing in Detroit. (Though, I'm sure the urban decay is splendid in the spring.)

Kansas City starts a stretch of 13 games without an open date today against the Tigers. If the offense can get on track and the pitching stays strong, it will go a long way towards keeping this team in contention throughout the summer.

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