Despite a drastic division-altering change that brought in ace James Shields in the offseason, the Royals were still a stretch pick for the playoffs. They gave it a good run but fell short at 86 wins. The team signed Jason Vargas to replace #2 man Ervin Santana, the resigning of whom would have cost a valuable draft pick. Old Bruce Chen, reliable Jeremy Guthrie, and flamethrower Yordano Ventura round out the rotation with Danny Duffy there as insurance (Chen started off the year poorly). The Royals are under considerable pressure to win this season as GM Dayton Moore’s tenure is at judgment time and Shields is a free agent this fall. His performance this season could price him out of Kansas City’s price range. The filthy bullpen holds leads when they get them. Greg Holland, Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, Aaron Crow are all young, hard-throwing arms that do it probably better than any other ‘pen in the league.
The Royals fell victim to a power shortage in early 2014; even hitters producing, like first baseman Eric Hosmer, left fielder Alex Gordon, and catcher Salvador Perez, weren’t hitting homers. Billy Butler started cold and former prospect Mike Moustakas hasn’t made the most of his last chance to produce. On paper, the Royals have everything they need for a productive lineup. It should only be a matter of time before they start hitting as a group regardless of whether Moustakas finally come around or not. They did sign second baseman Omar Infante in the offseason. Albeit being a slight overpay for an offensively average second baseman, Infante filled a huge hole in the lineup that seemed to kill rallies in years past. The Royals are bound to continue a solid season at Kauffman Stadium, the recently-renovated home of the team. Be sure to check out the Royals Hall of Fame, the huge LED board in center field, and head to the outfield to check out the standing-room-only Pepsi Party Porch in right field (between the wall and water fountains). Gold Coast Tickets can hook you up with the best seats for KC Royals games!