Saturday, May 20, 2017

The closed window in Kansas City

The Kansas City Royals won the World Series in 1985. They (or more precisely, their fans) then endured almost 30 years without a playoff appearance until 2014, when they lost the World Series in seven games. They they won the Series in 2015.

We're still more than a week from the spot in the calendar when I allow myself to pay attention to the standings, but the 2017 Royals are in last place. What's more, they deserve to be.

The Twins' Byron Buxton has hit fairly well in May, but his overall numbers on the season are still awful: he has an OPS of .538. The Royals lineup Friday night had four players with worse OPSes than that.

To be fair, two of them (Jorge Soler and Cheslor Cuthbert -- and isn't that a name out of a P.J. Wodehouse farce?) have have just over 100 plate appearances between them. But Alex Gordon (.489) and Alcides Escobar (.438) are foundation players for the Royals. And for that matter, Soler's lack of playing time is because of injury. Only Cuthbert was supposed to be a bench guy.

The Royals bullpen has gone in two years from a marked strength to a weakness, certainly, and that's been remarked upon before. But the hitting, never all that strong even when things were going well, is just as big a problem.

It got ugly again in a hurry in K.C.

1 comment:

  1. Kudos for the first Wodehouse reference that I've ever read in a baseball context.