We, as Royals fans, have seen a full line of emotions when it comes to closers.
There were some great ones, like Dan Quisenberry, Jeff Montgomery, Joakim Soria’s first stint, Greg Holland and Wade Davis.
There have been some not so good ones as well, but we won’t get into that too much but who could forget Ricky Bottalico, Roberto Hernandez or Soria 2.0 going from all-star closer to has-beens in Kansas City.
This Royals team doesn’t have anyone in the bullpen that will strike fear in any opponent. Ian Kennedy is being called a closer, but he has four saves and it will be the middle of June this weekend.
As a whole, the Royals have a total of seven saves this season. Yes, seven. The next lowest team is Colorado, which has 11.
The Royals are the worst team in MLB in terms of save percentage at 38.89 percent — the next lowest is the New York Mets’ 53.3 rate.
A majority of that is simply the bullpen is unable to put enough zeroes on the board late in the games.
On Saturday, the Royals were down 2-1 going into the top of the seventh. The Chicago White Sox then proceeded to score a run in each of the next three innings to put the game out of reach.
The Royals lost and fell to 20-45 — getting an early start of either picking No. 1 or No. 2 in next year’s draft.
Here is an amazing stat that really shows why the Royals are bad. Or rather, worse than they should be.
In the first 65 games played, the Royals have had a lead in 44 of them.
That happened on Thursday when the Royals jumped on Boston early and took a lead before things fell apart.
It isn’t a bad team. If you look position-by-position there are some players that would play on other teams. That used to be my measuring stick years ago when the Royals struggled. We had maybe one or two players that would be valuable elsewhere. I can think of at least four to five on this team, but that includes an injured Salvador Perez.
On that note, I can’t wait for him to return. His replacement, Martin Maldonado, is terrrrribbblllleeeee (did I emphasis this enough?) this year. He has 7 RBI on the season. Three of those came in one game. So in his other 49 games, as of Monday, he has delivered 3 RBI. He is also batting .205 and a good rule of thumb I was told as a kid, you want to hit more than you weigh. He isn’t succeeding there, but he is only a .217 batter in his career that weighs 230 lbs.
But the crux of the issue got back to the pitching/defense late in the games.
From the seventh inning and later, the Royals have been outscored 160 to 104.
Blown saves are a big part of it but so is the inability to get the ball to Kennedy, the closer. Only Oakland’s 12 blown saves are ahead of the Royals’ 11 this season. But, you also look at the Royals team earned run average and the batting average of the opponents, and Kansas City checks in as the third worst in both categories.
Thank goodness Baltimore and Seattle are terrible too, which means the Royals aren’t the worst in the AL and MLB.
Guess that is a slight glimmer of hope. Kennedy has been OK as a closer, but what is the point of having a closer if you can’t keep a lead?