It’s just 10 games into the season, and many Royals fans are already getting that familiar feeling of hopelessness that inevitably sets in every year after the Royals go through one of those classic KC losing streaks. But don’t despair. We’re not actually this bad! Here’s a very dumbed-down, non-analytical piece explaining why…
1. The lineup isn’t this bad
The naysayers like to point out that the bottom four or five of our lineup is consistently made up of guys with no power and well-below-average on-base-percentages. Well, they’re right. But half those guys won’t be there by the All-Star break. Jarrod Maier will become Lorenzo Cain; Yuniesky Getz will step aside for Johnny Giavotella; and Brayan Quintero will become Salvador Perez. Even if the impact is negligible, that lineup has drastically more potential on any given night. And it will be so much more fun to watch.
2. The bullpen isn’t this bad
The Royals’ bullpen was supposed to be one of its strengths going into the season. As we all know, it’s been less than stellar so far. But this has been exaggerated by the lousiness of our starting pitching. What we’re seeing is what happens when you are forced to bring relievers into the game in the 3rd inning every night. Of course, this problem won’t get better unless the Royals’ starting pitching improves, which brings me to the third point…
3. The starting pitching isn’t this bad
For months I have complained about the suckiness of KC’s starting pitching. Any time you have Bruce Chen start on opening day, you know you’re dealing with a well below average staff, to put it politely. But even so, the Royals aren’t throwing their best 5 pitchers out there, and we all know it. Even with his supposed bad luck, Felipe Paulino is probably better than Luis Mendoza. So is Everett Teaford, I think (maybe). And there’s no way that Jonathan Sanchez is really going to have THIS hard of a time adjusting to the AL, is there? Anyway, I’m not optimistic about KC’s starting pitching. Ultimately, it is why the Royals will not compete this year in the central. But come on. There’s no way it’s this bad.
The bad news, is that I actually see the 2012 Royals suffering through some pretty lousy losing streaks, especially during the first half of this year. But this is just what tends to happen when you don’t have a single above-average starting pitcher who you can rely on to consistently shut the opposing team’s bats down every five days. Oh well. Get over it. We’re not competing this year. But I still say we’ll finish within 5 or 10 games of .500. Maybe that’s too optimistic, but I think there’s just too much talent on this team to lose 100 games.