Almost a month into the regular season, and the Royals are 12-6, a half game behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. Of course, they could be at least tied for first had they not s**t the bed this weekend in Chicago for a rainy, brawl-filled series. They travel to Cleveland to begin a three game series tomorrow before returning to Kauffman to take on the Tigers for the first time this year on Thursday.
It was more suspensions for the Royals this week, as Yordano Ventura got 7, Edinson Volquez got 5, and Kelvin Herrera and Lorenzo Cain each got 2. Herrera’s 2 games are on top of the five that he was suspended for throwing at Athletics’ Brett Lawrie last week. That will mean a missed start for both Ventura and Volquez, and 2 nights of lost offensive production. Of course, all players will be appealing their suspensions, so there is hope that maybe Cain can get his reduced to just a fine.
Enough of suspension talk, let’s move on to actual baseball talk. I really like what Mike Moustakas is doing at the plate. His approach has changed drastically since last season, and it looks like he’s found a comfortable role in the #2 spot in the lineup. He’s spreading the field more evenly in his hit distribution, showing signs of better patience that is paying off big time.
I hope Alex Gordon’s wrist is making a speedy recovery, because the Royals could really use him. He was fairly quiet in October, and has been so far this year. I know that Ned wants to take it slow so as to allow the wrist to heal completely, but at some point he’s going to have to pick up the pace. He managed to hit a two-run dinger today and made some nice plays in the outfield, so hopefully those are signs that he’s (almost) back to normal.
I’d be silly not to mention the Chiefs, so I’m going to. The NFL released the regular season schedule last Sunday, and it was a so-so reaction from Chiefs fans. Their schedule opens in Houston against the Texans, followed by their first of three prime-time games, a Thursday night game against the Broncos.
The Chiefs will be on the road quite a bit in the first half of the season, as 4 of their final 6 games are at home. Not to mention, one of those “home” games will be in London against the Lions. It looks like there won’t be that many fans at that one, as travel packages are into the four figure range. Such a shame to lose a home game, especially considering the Chiefs have the best fan base in the league.
An even further disappointment, the league said that Kansas City isn’t even being seriously considered as a future Super Bowl host. Hosting a game in London is one of the requirements for hosting the Super Bowl, but the lack of hotels in the Kansas City area just won’t make hosting a Super Bowl possible. Damn you, Chiefs. You gave up a home game all for nothing.
The NFL Draft is a week away, and the “experts” have picked about 15 different players that the Chiefs will select in the first round. Of course, they’re going to pick the “best available player,” but what they really need is probably a wide receiver in the first round. Jeremy Maclin was a great FA pick-up, but they’ll need more if they want to win this year, and there should be some great options remaining at their pick.
Okay folks, that’s it for now. It’s going to be a tough week for the Royals, as they square off against the Indians and Tigers, and really need to create some separation in the division. Those suspensions aren’t going to help matters, so we’ll see how they deal with that. Good luck, Boys.