Results tagged ‘ Jeremy Jeffress ’
For years, the Kansas Royals were the laughing stock of the American League Central. Entering the 2012 season, I can confidently say that I no longer think that’s the case.
In 2011, the Royals found themselves in fourth place of the AL Central with a record of 71-91. Don’t let that fool you, though. The Royals played competitive baseball throughout the entire season, but they seemed to often be a bit unlucky.
According to their pythagorean win-loss record (a formula calculate by baseball statistician Bill James that determines how many games a team should have won based on runs scored in relation to runs allowed), the Royals should have actually won 78 games last year. Keep in mind that the Cleveland Indians (who finished in second place) ended up with only 80 wins on the year, so the Royals weren’t too far behind.
The biggest issue for the Kansas City Royals in recent years that they’re a very young team, often lacking a strong veteran presence to lead by example. The closest thing the Royals have to a superstar is Billy Butler, and despite being a phenomenal hitter, he can’t win the division by himself.
The Royals addressed these needs during the offseason, signing Bruce Chen to a new two-year deal, adding a veteran closer in Jonathan Broxton as well bringing back Yuniesky Betancourt. Adding veteran stability in addition to rising stars such as Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain really makes them a legitimate contender in the upcoming years.
I think it’s fair to say that very few people expect the Royals to compete with the Tigers this year, but I at the same time, there’s a very real possibility that they might be very good within a few years. The biggest enemy for Kansas City is going to be themselves, as they’ve been known to trade away their star players for multiple prospects. Such was the case when they traded Zach Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress.
All the moves seem to be working out, because even though the Royals have an incredibly young rotation, they’re all quality pitchers with a lot of growth left in their careers. I can’t think of too many teams that wouldn’t want Bruce Chen, Danny Duffy or Jonathan Sanchez.
It seems that the Royals have been constantly rebuilding their organization for the last decade, but you can’t help but wonder if they’re now finally ready to compete.
Fun fact: The Royals are named after the “American Royal”, an annual livestock, rodeo and horse show that has been hosted every year in Kansas City since 1899.