I will do a weekly observations of the Royals and this is number one. It is said you are as good as your record after 67 games, the Royals are playing like their record 30-37.
First, four of your starting pitchers era are as following: 6.14, 4.63, 4.76, 4.01. The only pitcher with an ERA under 4 is Duffy who ERA is 1.94, but he has been on the injured list so he has not pitched for while. The replacement starters Kowar and Lynch have been clobbered. Minor is the only starter with a winning record at 5-4 and your ace, Keller is 6-6 but with a ERA of 6.14.
Kellers has averaged 4.7 innings per start, Singer 5.1 innings start, Minor 5.7 innings and Bubic over his last three start has failed to make it to fifth inning. Hard to win if your starters having problems getting quality starts and often the team finds themselves behind in most games. Starters have to get better.
Second, your two power hitters are hitting .152 and .185 and with a combined 13 homers between the two. Soler and Dozier have been abysmal. Perez by himself has hit 17 homers but your big boppers are missing in action.
At this point Merrifield is hitting .269 which is 25 points behind his life time average but he does lead the league in steals.
The good news, Perez is playing like an All-Star and Andrew Benintendi is hitting .283 and returned to his pre 2019 Red Sox days and added 8 homers. Zimmer, Barlow, Staumont, and Bentz have performed well but these four are your dependable relievers and Ervin Santana has had his moments. I would love to see more of Ronald Bolanos, who has pitched well when given the chance.
As for Greg Holland, he has his moment but he is not the pitcher of 2014 and Wade Davis, his career is over and his ERA accurately reflects where he is at 8.34. Davis was one of the best relievers in 2014 to 2016 but now, he is at the end of his career.
I had high hopes for this team at the beginning but we have seen winning streaks followed by even longer losing streaks. This is the team we have and we have to accept that. So for this team to improve the following has to happen.
- Your starting pitchers have to start getting into the deeper innings and need to add one inning to their present starting pace. You have four or five good relievers but if they are coming into the fifth inning or sooner, they will wear out. The 2014-15 team succeeded because starters knew get to the sixth inning with the lead, the bullpen would shut the other team down.
- Soler and Dozier have to start hitting. You need your power hitters and big RBI guys to hit homers and average at least .260.
- Mondesi has to stay healthy for when healthy this year, he has been very good this year, but keeping him between the lines has been the biggest struggle.
- Merrifield need to add 20 points to his average and Benintendi and Perez need to keep up their pace.
- It is time to say good bye to Davis and bring up either Lovelady or Speier and see if they can finally take that next step. They won’t do worse than Davis. It is also time to review Holland as well. He has had his moments but he is not getting better and is not the relief pitcher we remembered seven years ago. His blown save against the Tigers may be more reflective of where his career is at. He is not as far gone as Davis but he is not what he was.