This city has developed a powerful bond with the Royals. We see it, we feel it and we live it. There is a genuine connect with the fans around here.
I want to share a quick story from a recent trip.
I was wearing a shirt with a KC logo on it. I was amazed at the reaction from total strangers. The shirt didn’t say Royals but everyone knew what the “KC” represented. I had a woman tell me, “I love the Royals.” Another young man blurted out, “Go Royals.” A middle aged gentleman was wearing a Salvy Perez Jersey. All of this in an airport a thousand miles from KC. I asked if they had ever watched a game in KC and they responded No but they wanted to come here to see the Royals play. It gave me a great sense of pride seeing how others feel about our team.
Alright, we’re a little more than a week into the season. A couple of things here, Moose and Morales are hitting the long ball. That’s a good thing. The Royals had scored only 21 runs in their first 6 games. That puts them in the lower third of baseball. Only 3 hitters were hitting about .250 after the first week. No time to panic at this early stage of the season.
I do wonder about this starting rotation. After Volquez and Ventura, it’s pretty much a crap shoot. My biggest concern in the early going is Chris Young. He had a tough outing the other night in Houston. He’s a high ball pitcher and when his heat is only 88 mph, that’s big trouble for the 36 year old right hander. The bullpen will again be the savior of this team. Wade Davis is absolute “nails”. He’s automatic. You never worry when he’s brought in from the bullpen.
I think we need to watch Joakim Soria closely. 8 years ago he was really good when the Royals made him a Rule 5 selection. He was the team’s lone representative in the 2008 All Star Game. Soria developed arm problems and underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012. After spending time with the Rangers, Tigers and Pirates, Soria signed a 3 year deal worth $25 million dollars with the Royals. He’s pitched 2.2 innings this season watching his ERA bloat to 13.50.
Ned Yost will have some decisions to make with the outfield as Jarrod Dyson is due to come off the disabled list. Someone has to go to make room for Dyson. Will it be Paulo Orlando, Reymond Fuentes or Terrance Gore? Gore appears to be the odd man out.
By the way, after the first week of the season, the MLB Power Rankings are out. ESPN.com has the Cub #1 and the Royals #2. The Royals are the only American League Club among the top 5 in baseball.