So, the Royals got a win on Saturday to ‘up’ their mark to 2-8 over the last ten games. Cleveland, prior to their game with the Angels last night, did the exact opposite and the two teams essentially swapped places in the Central Division, with Detroit popping themselves into the middle of the fray as well. Sixty-two percent of the baseball season still lies ahead, folks, and it is going to be a bumpy ride.
The Royals are going to embark on the rest of the season with Danny Duffy as their most reliable starting pitcher. He was simply outstanding on Saturday before being pulled after six innings and just 88 pitches. I don’t begrudge the move by Yost. He has a tremendous bullpen that has been wasted by a string of games the team was never in. Use your tools, get your win.
The Royals have also hit six home runs in the last two games. We can view that as a product of the weather and ballpark in Chicago, or a sign of at last a rekindling of a dormant offense. I will not hold my breath waiting for the next Cheslor Cuthbert two home run game and, sadly, will also not anticipate Kendrys Morales hitting a home run any time soon again, either. Therein lies the issue with the offense: it needs last year’s Morales, not the guy we have been watching the past few months.
To be honest, we all know Cheslor Cuthbert is not Mike Moustakas. We love what Whit Merrifield has given the team thus far, but would be wise to be skeptical. Better than Infante? Oh, yes. Good enough to be a regular on a playoff team? The jury is out. You want to bank on an Orlando-Dyson-Fuentes-Eibner conglomeration at the corners? Well, okay, give it a try. If you really want to jumpstart the Royals’ offense, however, feels like a hot Kendrys Morales is the quickest route.
Of course, one home run gives one zero reason to hope the old Morales is back. Speaking of old….
Omar Infante has not played since June 6th. He has not batted since the 2nd and has not gotten a hit since the day before that. He has managed more than one hit in a game just twice since you paid your taxes. All that, and his defense has dropped off a cliff. What exactly is he doing on the roster?
We are at least two roster moves deep into thinking THIS is the one that results in the anticipated, but expensive, release of Infante, but truthfully he is not taking up space that anyone else needs. If you drop Infante right now, who would you put in his place? I really don’t think it has much to do with finance, but more to do with simply not having to deal with it right now.
While it is rightfully annoying that the Royals are paying millions for what amounts to Whit Merrifield insurance, there really is not any reason for them to cut ties just yet. Of course, the time is coming and, NO, no one wants to trade for anything for him! In a rather backwards way, doesn’t the fact that releasing Omar Infante can wait point to the fact of how much the Royals have been forced to tap into their organizational depth?
Anyway, here we sit on a Sunday morning with the Royals one game over .500 and a lineup we certainly did not expect back in April. Oh yeah, and Yordano Ventura starts on Sunday afternoon.
Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I used to look forward to Yordano Ventura starts.