2007 Kansas City Royals Baseball Preview
The Kansas City Royals (62- 100) were a dismal club last season. But new GM Dayton Moore, who apprenticed in Atlanta, has made some major changes and gotten owner David Glass to spend some major money.
With just over 60 wins, it should be no surprise that the Royals’ had the highest team ERA (5.65) and gave up the second-most homeruns (213) in the AL. Opponents hit .292 against them! The starting rotation has been made over. Former Seattle righty Gil Meche (11- 8, 4.48 ERA) gets the top position—can he handle it? LHP Odalis Perez (6- 8, 6.23 ERA) also has something to prove at the two spot. Other starters include Luke Hudson (7- 6, 5.12 ERA), Jorge De La Rosa (5- 6, 6.84 ERA) and Brian Bannister (2-1, 4.26 ERA). The closing situation is tenuous with vet Octavio Dotel (0- 0, 10.80 ERA, 0 SV) being signed.
Talk about low production! This team was last in the league in batting average (.255), runs batted in (650) and on base percentage (.314). Top producers include David DeJesus (.295 AVG, 56 RBI, 8 HR), Mark Teahen (.290 AVG, 69 RBI, 19 HR) and Emil Brown (.287 AVG, 81 RBI, 15 HR). Rookie third baseman Alex Gordon could be a difference maker in his first big league season. Thirty-six year old Mark Grudzielanek (.297 AVG, 52 RBI, 7 HR) had a fine year.
At Short Angel Berroa was dismal, while at second Grudzielanek was exceptional, earning his first Gold Glove. Berroa has to play much better. Gordon will get a chance at third. Catcher Jason LaRue, from Cincinnati, handles pitchers well.
Buddy Bell is back at the helm after having surgery in September for a cancerous growth on his throat. He’s in the final year of his contract and GM Moore will probably make it his last, bringing in a manager of his own.
This is a team that is trying to get better in a division that has become extremely competitive. Expect improvement but not enough to have a winning season. This is the first step in a long process.
For more info on the Royals check out the MLB official page for Kansas City baseball news.