Wow, things are definitely interesting at the bottom of the AL Central. With the White Sox looking to unload most of their team, the Royals could actually get out of the cellar here soon if they continue this nice stretch. They have two more wins then the White Sox but they have four more losses so the net effect is a one game deficit.
I know, it means jack squat but for Royals fans, this is the kind of stuff you look for. And it’ll be even more interesting because the White Sox and Royals face off for three games this weekend. I can wait to push those guys, just two seasons away from their World Series win, into the cellar.
Alex Gordon has caught first and while he went 0 for 4 today, it was at the tail end of a seven game hitting streak. I know the .235 batting average isn’t worth much discussion, but the fact that he was hitting .210 less then two weeks ago means something. There hasn’t been a power spike though and Gordon sits with just six homeruns still so his OPS is barely on the north side of .700.
What a start today by Jorge De La Rosa. He gave up ten hits and a walk but nobody crossed the plate in six shutout innings. With the nice start, he also saw his ERA get sliced by about a third of a point. Still this is a guy with just 56 strikeouts and 32 walks so I’m not going to get too excited unless he does it a few more times.
Gil Meche continues to be the workhorse on the staff and you have to be impressed with that strikeout to walk ratio (83/29). Dayton Moore is making a believer out of some people with that signing and while the 5-6 record isn’t all that, Meche has definitely given the Royals some chances to win and that’s more then you can ask from Royals’ teams past.
It’ll be Brian Bannister going up against Jose Contreras on Friday. If the Royals win the opener, they’ll be tied with the White Sox and that’s the hope.
I really tought we’d look back at the 2007 Royals as kind of a turning point in the franchise. Yeah, I figured they’d loss a 100, but I figured they’d finally know what they had and then plan accordingly. But it looks like I was wrong and the Royals have as many questions as they do answers this year.
We can start with Gil Meche, who is actually looking like he was worth the five year, $55 million price tage the Royals paid for him. He has a solid 3.21 ERA and all of the other numbers are there. He might not be a future ace, but he could be a productive pitcher for years to come. Of course he’s only 4-6 but that’s just as much because of the poor hitting. He had lost five starts in a row and in those five, he had given up three or less in three of them.
David DeJesus is another guy who’s hard to figure out. He’s scoring runs this year, but after a red hot start his batting average has been in the .260s for a while. He has stayed relatively healthy, which is more you can say then seasons past but a .744 OPS only gets you so far.
And then there’s Alex Gordon. He has a .365 slugging percentage, which is pretty much enough said. Still one season does not a Hall of Famer make and Gordon could still be the stud everyone thought he was going to be. We’re just probably going to have to wait until next year to find out.
One good thing about the season is, the Royals have as many wins as the White Sox. Yeah, it’s in fewer games but it’s still something to look at as a positive. Maybe the Royals can put together some wins, have a decent second half, and push the White Sox into the cellar.
Odalis Perez and his 6.00+ ERA takes the mound tomorrow and he’ll try to end the Royals skid. Hopefully the Royals will make a better showing then the 7-1 loss tonight.
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