Inquiring minds would like to know. Can the Kansas City Royals be relevant again? That question has been asked since the first month of the season. This team started off winning seven, and losing twelve. They followed that up by winning only nine of 29 games in May, and quickly fell out of any chances for a playoff spot.
Pitching Has Hurt Them
Pitching is what has really hurt this team in 2022. They have been at the bottom of the pitching category since the season began. Their team ERA is the worst in the AL, and is ranked 27th overall. They have given up the most hits as well as the most walks in the AL, and are 26th in home runs allowed. They are also ranked 26th in saves,
The team has had little or no consistency from their starters. Zack Greinke, who was brought in to help with leadership and be a mentor for the pitchers has not worked out. He is having a dismal season and Kris Bubic, Brad Keller, Daniel Lynch, and Jonathan Heasley are carrying ERA’s of over 5.00, or very close to it.
Hitting has not really helped the situation either. The Royals leading hitter is Michael A. Taylor who is hitting just .266. Hunter Dozier and Salvador Perez, the veteran leadership members of the team, are having one of the worst seasons of their careers. The lack of hitting has shown with a 10–26 record with five runs or more scored.
Does Mike Matheny Return?
Can the Kansas City Royals be relevant again? As expected with this disappointing season, there are already major questions about whether or not Mike Matheny will be back as the manager next season. Matheny was called upon to guide, and mentor a team going through a major rebuild. This was after after back-to-back 100-plus loss seasons in 2018 and 2019.
The front office will have to decide whether to bring Matheny back. Under his guidance, the Royals have not won many games. He has communicated well with younger players, especially Bobby Witt Jr. and Adalberto Mondesí (before his season-ending injury) on how to play the game and how to approach hitting. That could help save him for at least another year.
Young Players Should Help
Can the Kansas City Royals be relevant again? The answer could be yes, sooner rather than later. Their young players are talented. MJ Melendez and Bobby Witt Jr. both look like they could be impact players for years to come. Both Vinnie Pasquantino and Nick Pratto, the other talked about young players, have been doing okay. If both continue doing well and work out, that gives the Royals four impact bats for their future.
As for pitching, Brady Singer is having a good year. Though it has been a difficult year for Bubic, he is gaining that much-needed major league experience. Other pitchers to include in a look to the future are Jackson Kowar and Daniel Lynch. They also have a very good closer in Scott Barlow, who has played two solid seasons for them.
Rest of the Season
Kansas City has had another long summer, and another disappointing season. Royals’ fans have seen this team fall short of expectations this season. The rest of the season will feature more growing pains, and frustration. Currently, the Royals are 25 games below .500, and just trying to get to the end of the season. However, it could also come with some rewarding moments for the final 30 games for this club and their future. The younger players certainly do not want to lose 100 games and they will want to avoid finishing in last place. This gives them incentive to continue playing good baseball as they play out the season for pride.
Also, knowing they won’t be contending for a playoff berth takes some pressure off the players. This could lead to looser play while players showcase their talents. While fans will see a losing season, they could see the team close out the season on a high.
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Zack Greinke, Kris Bubic, Brad Keller, Daniel Lynch, Jonathan Heasley, Michael A. Taylor, Hunter Dozier, Salvador Perez, Mike Matheny, Bobby Witt, Adalberto Mondesí, MJ Melendez, Vinnie Pasquantino, Nick Pratto, Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch, Scott Barlow