There is a chance by the end of this weekend the Kansas City Royals will have 100 losses.
That’s not a benchmark you want to reach by any means but many true Royals fans have witnessed it many times over the past few decades. Multiple 100 losses seasons and inability to hit on those high draft picks are why the team stayed a cellar dweller from essentially 2000-2012.
I honestly held out hope that the Royals would be competitive this year but I didn’t realize how bad the pitching would be. The starters were putrid. Jason Hammel’s nickname is ‘Hammer,’ which was fitting given what other teams did to him each time he started.
Danny Duffy was up and down and now out. Nate Karns was supposed to become a staple in the rotation but I think he’s pitched in maybe two more games for the Royals than I have.
Losing outfielder Jorge Soler for almost the entire year didn’t help a lackluster offense.
I also can’t leave out some of the up-and-downs without mentioning the bullpen. Once the best in the big leauges, running out Hammel and Brandon Maurer consistently is a bad idea. Even the numbers says that, but Ned Yost is not one to let numbers distract him from playing people he shouldn’t: see Yuniesky Betancourt, Chris Getz, Jeff Francouer, Alcides Escobar, etc.
But enough of the bad.
The past few weeks have been promising if you look toward the future.
During a recent stretch the team won 13 of 15 at home. That is as many wins at the K as the first two months.
Ryan O’Hearn seems like he may be a solid first baseman. He has legit power and the ability to hit opposite field home runs isn’t an easy one. Whit keeps hitting. Adalberto Mondesi could lead the league in stolen bases next year and he is hitting the ball well. It’s a shame we didn’t have him up all year and decided that Escobar was a better option.
Hunter Dozier is OK. Can hit home runs but always seems like he’s hitting .220. I was hopeful that Cheslor Cuthbert would have a good year but he has been missing all year.
Catcher Cam Gallagher had his first four-hit game this past week and Meibrys Viloria looked good in his debut for not playing above Class A. He was set to start on Sunday but overslept and was scratched, showing a bit why he is a rookie.
The two guys we got for Moose, Brett Phillips and Jorge Lopez, could both be regulars next year.
There are positives going into 2019. They will probably still be pretty bad, but the young guys are getting experience. Kind of like the 2011-2012 Royals when they started getting the first wave of guys up.
I think the next group is a few years away though Khalil Lee was in Double-A and hit well. The low-Class A Lexington Legends won their league championship behind 2018 draft picks Jackson Kowar and Daniel Lynch, both starters. Add in a healthy Brady Singer and the No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft, it could turnaround faster than the last turnaround that took a mere 30 years.
The only thing I wonder is if Yost will be back next year. I’ve only went to a few games as a member of the media this year and he just doesn’t seem the same. I’m sure the losing will do that to you after so long.
I read an interesting fact the other day. Dating back to 2014, the Royals have a losing record.
That is pretty astonishing considering they made the World Series in back-to-back years.
I went to the game Sunday against the Twins and it was likely my last one of the season. If so, it was game No. 43 at the K. That is the most I’ve ever seen there in one year and five more than my previous high that came in 2015 but those featured three rounds of the playoffs.
A big reason was me getting the Miller Lite Fountain Pass. For only $30 a month I got a standing room only ticket to every game and when I could take advantage of it, I did.
I’m a numbers or stats guy when it comes to baseball but I haven’t taken the time to see the record of the Royals this year. I’m sure it’s ugly. I just hold on to memories of 2015 when I saw KC win 18 straight games I went to and posted a 33-5 mark with me there.
If you are like me and enjoy knowing how good a team is or a player is, here are two apps to get.
If you use the MLB ballpark App you can check in each game and it will keep track of the records for each team you see.
Another is Sports Passport.
This app and website allows you to create a profile and check into MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS games as well as major college basketball and football games.
With each check-in they give you top performances. And if you pay for an upgraded membership — I pay $5 a month — it’ll give you your leaders. For instance, I’ve seen Escobar bat 800 times. Salvador Perez has hit 27 home runs while hitting .265.
Mike Moustakas hit .260 with 18 home runs and 92 RBI with me watching. I felt like I saw Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon strikeout a lot and the numbers back it up. In 643 at-bats I’ve seen, Hosmer struck out 115 times. Gordon has 172 strikeouts in 758 at-bats but also has 25 homers and 100 RBI.
My top pitcher in terms of with is Yordano Ventura and Jeremy Guthrie with 10 wins each. I saw Danny Duffy fan 133, while Ventura had 127.
In a way, it’s like my personal baseball cards with these players and to me that is pretty cool.