This was supposed to be the year that the Royals were top contenders in the AL Central. Coming off of a winning season, their first in a decade, Kansas City had aspirations of being the chief competition for the reigning AL Central Champion Tigers. Several media analysts picked the Royals to win the division outright.
Kansas City had the potential firepower and definitely had the starting pitching to be good, if not great, in 2014. Potential only gets you so far, however. Instead, the Royals sit in third place in the AL Central, a sizable 6.5 games behind the first place Tigers. There may be a lot of baseball to play in this season, but the Royals are encountering problems they didn’t expect to have. The most glaring problem is that of Mike Moustakas, the Royals supposed franchise third-baseman who struggled mightily at the plate this season and recently earned a demotion to Triple-A.
Moustakas was supposed to front an offense along with Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, and Billy Butler. Of those four, only Alex Gordon is posting numbers that may have been expected of him. He’s hitting to the tune of a .281/.352/.409 slash line with four homers and 29 RBI. The four homers is more than Butler and Hosmer have combined, and the biggest obstacle the Royals have run into is that their offense is not clicking on all cylinders. It’s easy to place the blame on the shoulders of the coaching staff, particularly Ned Yost, who is one of the managers in baseball who has the longest tenure with one team, and the only one of that group who hasn’t brought his team to a playoff appearance.
General Manager Dayton Moore, however, professes that Yost is still the right man for the job and tells Fox Sports that the blame should be placed on Moore for the issues the team is running into.
“Here’s the bottom line: It’s not Ned, it’s not Pedro (Grifol), it’s me,” Moore said. “I’m responsible. It’s all on me. At least that’s the way I feel about it.
“It’s my job to give the managers and the coaching staff the right players to succeed. I have to be able to give them the tools to win. So if we’re not succeeding, ultimately the responsibility comes back to me. No one else.”
That’s not to say that staff changes were necessary. Third base coach Dale Sveum was re-named as the hitting coach in an effort to help bring the team out of its offensive slump. Sveum was the Cubs manager until last season when he was fired from the organization. The Royals are currently 26-28 but riding a two-game winning streak, having beat the red-hot Toronto Blue Jays in the first two games of a four-game set.
Tags: Kansas City Royals