Friday, November 26, 2021

Topps Cards That Should Have Been: 2007 Royals


We go to a transitional year for the struggling Royals. 2007 would be the last for mainstays like Mike Sweeney and Angel Berroa, and would be the first for future Royals legends like Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and Joakim Soria. While there'd be a long way before the 2014-2015 runs, this team was beginning to try some new things.

Ironically, a few of their tactics would be better suited in other markets. Former Boston farmhand Jorge de la Rosa got some starts for the Royals, but went 8-12 with a 5.82 ERA and 82 Ks in 23 starts. After the season, De La Rosa would be swapped to the Rockies, where he'd become one of their more trusted starters of the 2010s.

Similarly, Leo Nunez continued his quiet run of being a well-regarded relief option for the Royals in this era, with a 3.92 ERA in 12 appearances, SIX OF THEM BEING STARTS, as the Royals were pretty starved for starting pitching. But Nunez would become a more prevalent reliever in 2008, and after a trade to Miami, would become a closing option until 2011ish. 

One of the more forgotten all-stars of his era, former Dodgers starter Odalis Perez had some great years in the early 2000s before he began to lose his footing, and was handed to the Royals in 2006. In 26 '07 starts, Perez would notch a 5.57 ERA and 64 Ks. He'd have one more year of starting in '08, for Washington, before hanging 'em up.

As for Spring Training attempts, Alex Gonzalez, the one I call Alex Gonzalez v1 as he debuted earlier than the other one, was still kicking in the mid-2000s after his Toronto heyday. After a weak year with Philly he tried going out for a corner infield spot for the Royals, losing to Mark Teahen. Gonzalez would end his MLB career after this.

Coming Tomorrow- A trio of 2007 Tigers, including one I was just talking about the other day.

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