Just two weeks into the Major League Baseball season, and already it has been easy to see what the Royals haven’t improved upon since last year. In fact, how they’re doing now contradicts how they were doing in May of last year but in light of the new season, here are some observations thus far…
Where we’ve made improvements:
I’m not exactly on top of the stats, but so far it does seem like we are capable of supporting our pitchers with some better run support thanks mostly to the big bats of Billy Butler, Rick Ankiel and David DeJesus. Butler is already spraying the ball all over the field, yet Ankiel is by far the most reliable batter on the team…so far. Also, Ankiel has already shown that he can take the ball yard as well as be a clutch player. Just last week he helped the Royals slip by the Tigers in extra innings. As for pitching, we’ve seen spectacular starts by Zack Greinke and Brian Bannister already, despite that neither have won a game yet. But what everyone wants to know right now in Kansas City is whether or not the bullpen can get it done.
Where I’m still questioning:
As far as I was concerned, I wasn’t even aware outfielder Jose Guillen was playing for the Royals until I went to the game yesterday. The guy was batting close to a .000 average before he belted a pair of 400 foot long homers in yesterday in the 8-6 loss against Boston. If he can stay healthy and keep somewhat of a positive attitude, his bat could come in handy to an already more productive Royal offense.
Where we’re still lacking:
Bullpen, Bullpen, bullpen- Yes it’s true we have a pretty solid starting rotation, but a pitching unit is nothing without’s its middle man or relievers. Kansas City must find some guys who are reliable enough to light up the opposition for 1-3 innings, so that the Royals can have a succesful run at the pennant. Just an idea, I would be in favor of moving current starter Gil Meche to the reliever positition. He is a guy I can trust to throw hard and still give me a considerable amount of innings with great arm strength.
Watching the game late last Wednesday night, past my bedtime, it seemed like our outfielders’ arms were a bit tired. I understand that extra inning games run especially late at night, but come on, extra innings are when you should be playing at your highest level. Scott Podsednik is a great example of this, I love what he does at the plate and the way he carries himself, but that throw to the plate in the 11th inning of last Wednesday’s thriller when the Tigers went up 2-1 was unacceptable. Then again, it’s only game three. 155 to go.
So where does this all leave us?
Simple. In need of some answers…fast. After dropping their eighth game of the season yesterday, the Royals need to find their stride and go win 2-3 series before we get into May.
Trey Hillman and the gang rolled into Detroit yesterday to the take on Tigers who were in just in town last week. Look for a couple close games.