2010 Kansas City Royals Baseball Preview
It has been years since the Kansas City Royals (65-97) have in anyway been competitive. In 2009, they finished 21.5 games out of first-place. During the post-season, the team has seen a range of free agents depart and arrive.
Starter Zack Greinke (16-8, 2.16 ERA, 242 SO) was massive on a team that otherwise saw its pitching staff fail. His delivery, arm and control are all exceptional. Injuries plagued number two starter Gil Meche (6-10, 5.09 ERA, 95 SO) and number three starter Brian Bannister (7- 12, 4.73 ERA, 98 SO). Both were shut down late in the season. Meche mixes an array of pitches. He needs to trust his stuff more and keep pitch counts down. Bannister can be effective if he stays out of his head.
There’s good news on the relief front as closer Joakim Soria (3-2, 2.21 ERA, 30 SV, 69 SO) has proven to be amazingly consistent over the years. He’s a strike thrower with a fastball and curve that changes speeds. Setup man Kyle Farnsworth (1-5, 4.58 ERA, 42 SO) offers a 94-98-mph fastball and a power slider that keeps hitters off-keel. Middle relief man Juan Cruz (3-4, 5.72 ERA, 86 SO) makes too many mistakes to be effective.
Left fielder David DeJesus (.281 BA, 13 HR, 71 RBI) has an efficient swing that he uses to spray the ball around the park. He’s an efficient fielder with a quick release. First baseman/DH Billy Butler (.301 BA, 21 HR, 93 RBI) is a disciplined hitter. His fielding has been improving. Jose Guillen (.242 BA, 9 HR, 40 RBI) suffered through numerous injuries last season. When healthy he can pound the ball out of the park.
The other major hitting threat on the team is second baseman Alberto Callaspo (.300 BA, 11 HR, 73 RBI). He’s a switch-hitter who can make contact on either side of the plate. After that, the club really needs to see third baseman Alex Gordon (.232 BA, 6 HR, 22 RBI) stay healthy and come through. He’s shown promise but has not come through at the plate. His fielding is subpar. Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt (.245 BA, 6 HR, 49 RBI), who plays a good field, is an aggressive hitter coming off a disappointing season.
Manager Trey Hillman sees this team as being two or three years away from being competitive. But Hillman is in the third and final year of his contract. There will have to be some progress for him to hold onto his job. GM Dayton Moore added a few vets last year and they did not pan out. The good news was that he did resign Greinke prior to his huge season.
The Royals have some talented players who have not panned out. In seven of the past nine seasons, this team has lost at least 93 games per year One major problem is the fact that this club does not have a very deep roster. Injuries will simply ensure that this team loses at least 93 games again.
For more info on the Royals check out the MLB official page for Kansas City baseball news.