The Purple and White Pawprint

Royal Struggles

Kelsey Higginbotham

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The Royals this season are 13-28, which is just pitiful. But who didn’t expect it? Obviously, a lot has affected this season, most of it not good. The biggest problem the team needs to address is the bullpen. The bullpen just isn’t getting it done, they have the worst bullpen ERA in the league at 6.11. They could do several things to help relieve some of the pressure on the guys in the bullpen. The first thing I would address if I were Dayton Moore is Justin Grimm. Grimm’s numbers so far are the worst of all pitchers. He’s currently on the 10-day DL with lower back tightness and was just sent to Omaha on a rehab assignment, which might give him the mental break he needed to perform better.  His ERA is 21.86 and his walk percentage is 21.4%, so it’s safe to say he’s just not getting it done. Instead of using him as much as they currently are, move a sparsely used starter into the pen, such as Brad Keller. He’s young and has a low ERA (3.72), which is more desperately needed than an experienced reliever whose ERA is sky high. The next thing I would address is Blaine Boyer, he’s putting up a 15.32 ERA in 12.1 IP. I would try to trade him to the rebuilding White Sox to get Joakim Soria back. Getting Soria back would mean giving up prospects, but offering legitimate big league contenders could tempt the White Sox into giving up Soria.

The other problem management needs to address is the number of runs the line-up brings across the plate. This seems to be no problem as of late, in May the Royals are 6-7 with a +9 run differential, but they’ve played Boston twice, Detroit three times, Baltimore twice, Cleveland three times, and Tampa once. They haven’t really faced a tough schedule this month yet. But the rest of the year is a different story, they went 7-19 with a -61 run differential. It’s not like they’re facing Klubers, Kershaws, and Verlanders every night. Most of the time they’re facing the third or fourth or even fifth guy in a team’s starting rotation and still can’t get runners across. According to TeamRankings, the Royals leave 16.10 runners on base per game, the second worst in the MLB. They just aren’t hitting very well with runners on and that needs to change. Hitting coach Terry Bradshaw needs to change something to get the guys bringing in more runs.

 

They have a lot to change and improve this season. All of these growing pains come with a partial rebuild. They just have to learn how to make adjustments to win games.

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Royal Struggles