Saturday, December 28, 2019

Uncustomed Heroes of 2019: Royals

 Four years after the title run, the Royals parted ways with Ned Yost, and finished with only 59 wins. Baseball is a fickle, revolving door of a sport. Dominance is too fleeting.

Just look at Billy Hamilton: The guy was signed in an effort to bring speed and star power back to Kansas City, and by August he's playing for the Braves. Even the temporary solutions aren't permanent.

 Nicky Lopez was brought in around April to be a speedy 2nd-baseman rookie, and he hit .240 with 30 RBIs in 105 games. I equate him to Cole Tucker from the Pirates in the category of 'minors mainstay who underwhelmed'.
Why Him in 2019?: Brought in as a major piece for the rebuilding era of the Royals
2020 Prediction: Will start the whole season at 2nd and do marginally better than this year, but when the big guns get traded (and they will), no one will exactly look to Lopez as a figure of leadership or authority.

 Speaking of leadership and authority, Danny Duffy rounded out his decade of pitching for the Royals with his usual consistency to a point, with a 4.34 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 23 starts. The Royals have him locked up for 2 more years, and I equate him to someone like Kevin Appier who becomes a pitching mainstay solely because he stays in one place and doesn't have many bad seasons.
Why Him in 2019?: Rare veteran starter in KC who had a positive W/L ratio and stayed until September.
2020 Prediction: Will start 30 games, get 10 wins, and not really get much credit for it

 In the place of former rotation giants like Edinson Volquez, Jason Vargas and James Shields, the Royals settled on homegrown guys like Jakob Junis, Brad Keller and Glenn Sparkman, the latter of whom had some amusing starts late in the season but finished with a 6.02 ERA
Why Him in 2019?: His May/June starting numbers gave the team hope.
2020 Prediction: A slightly lower ERA, but a lot of the same mediocrity

After a mid-season trade, Mike Montgomery, the guy who threw the final out of the 2016 World Series for Chicago, found himself in Kansas City, with something he didn't have on the Cubs- an opportunity to start games. In 13 starts he had a 4.64 ERA with 51 strikeouts.
Why Him in 2019?: 31 of those strikeouts came in his scorching August, where he posted a 2.43 ERA.
2020 Prediction: A full season in Kansas City will lead him to an eventual Mike-Minor-esque career reformation post-trade.

Coming Tonight: An equally meek AL Central team, those...hard-to-write-about Detroit Tigers

1 comment:

  1. Nice looking cards. I've always like Hamilton and he was a nice pickup for the Braves. He played well for them in limited action but didn't make much of a difference. Still I was happy to see him as a Brave. Always happy to see the Royals do good. Unfortunately it is in short spurts. Good post.