Dara’s Dugout: A Look at the Royals 1st Half

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Dara Avi

The All-Star break is officially here. I would be lying if I said I’m happy about where the Royals are at this point in the season. With that being said, there’s still a lot of baseball left to be played. On Friday, the Royals begin a 3-game series in Detroit. Then, they travel back to Kauffman to play a 3-game series with the Indians. It’s the perfect opportunity to start chipping away at the AL Central lead.

Call me an eternal optimist, but I still 100% believe that the Royals have a chance to win the division and make it back to the playoffs. It’s going to be a VERY tight race during the second half. As always, every season is different, there’s no way to predict what could happen going forward. I’ve heard so many people say “This reminds me of the 2014 season” or “this reminds me of 2012”. While they share some similarities to seasons in the past, the situation is much different.

Here’s where the Royals stand right now:

  • Record: 45-43
  • AL Central: 7 games back of 1st (tied with the Chicago White Sox for 3rd, .5 game behind the Tigers for 2nd)
  • Wildcard: 4.5 games back

Here’s what needs to improve during the second half:

  1. Starting Pitching:
    1. Chris Young needs to remain in the bullpen permanently as a reliever. Dillon Gee is not a permanent solution to replace Chris Young. The Royals will need to find a new starter.
    2. Yordono Ventura needs to keep his cool, find command and establish consistency. He’s got the potential to be the best starter on the roster.
    3. Edinson Volquez has been all over the place. He has thrown some of his best innings and some of his worst during the first half. Like Ventura, Eddie needs to settle in and give the Royals more consistent starts.
    4. Ian Kennedy has been a pleasant surprise. He’s given up a few more home runs than I’d like to see but his command has been good, for the most part.
    5. Danny Duffy has been the Royals best starter at this point in the season. He’s shown great command and composure.
  2. Streaks
    1. The Royals have been extremely streaky during the first half. From winning streaks, to losing streaks. From hot bats to ice-cold bats. In order to be successful during the second half, they will need to find consistency in every aspect of the game.
  3. Injuries
    1. Sometimes, injuries are hard to avoid. So far, the Royals have been riddled with injury.
      1. Alex Gordon- broken wrist
      2. Mike Moustakas- torn ACL
      3. Salvador Perez- quad contusion
      4. Kendrys Morales- back soreness
      5. Wade Davis- forearm strain
      6. Brett Eibner- ankle sprain
      7. Lorenzo Cain- hamstring
      8. Chris Young- forearm
      9. Kris Medlen- shoulder soreness

Favorite game of the first half of 2016 season:

While some aspects of this season have been bad, there were some amazing moments. The best game so far is an easy pick: the epic, 9th inning comeback on May 28th. I’m still stunned about that game. If you forgot, the Royals scored 7 runs in the 9th inning to beat the White Sox. It’s the best game I’ve ever watched in the regular season.

1st half MVP pick: Salvador Perez- He’s not the most consistent or even best hitter on the team. However, he’s the glue guy! He’s always got a positive attitude, he works his hiney off every day to be the best catcher in all of baseball. He’s made big stops on game-deciding plays and he’s hit multiple, game-changing home runs.

1st half CY pick: Jake Arrieta

ICYMI: Conrad McGorkin’s weekly creations: 

Coming up this week: The All-Star game- featuring Ned Yost, Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez and Kelvin Herrera. First pitch is set for 7:00pm Tuesday night.

Questions? Comments? Leave one below or stalk Dara on @sprotstakes  or @sportswithdara

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