Seems like just last week that Paul Konerko was catching an elbow from the Royals, but here we are once again, facing off against the best that Kansas City has to offer. This time, in their home. As we head into the series, I spoke a bit with Mike Vamosi of Kings of Kauffman about the states of the teams.
Matt Adams: Eric Hosmer was being pointed at to be the leader of the Royals youth movement. He’s still incredibly young, but how much does his sophomore slump worry you going forward.
Mike Vamosi: Hosmer’s slump has been worrisome given how good he was last season when he was called up from Omaha and killed it in the minor leagues. I think that keeping him in KC instead of letting him work it out in triple-A was wise but if he starts slow next season I think they team will send him down, he’s still really young which I think gives Royals fans pause for now.
MA: Speaking of the youth movement, there are still some heavy players laying in wait, like Wil Myers. With the future still looking bright for position players, do you think something has to be done from outside with regards to pitching? Or are there some viable players that can fill that gap internally?
MV: I’m sure you’ve seen the hashtag #FreeWil for about the last month given the play of the Royals starting rightfielder but pitching is something the organization needs to produce. Pressure on the front office/ownership to spend on one to two starters will be great this winter and Jeremy Guthrie might be part of that solution. Really in terms of internal options Jake Odorizzi who’s been pretty solid since getting called up from Northwest Arkansas to Omaha, after that Ryan Verdugo who got roughed up in his lone MLB start is an option. Vin Mazzaro and Nate Adcock could also be options down the road. Unfortunitely it seems that the pitching isn’t as far along as the position players currently are.
MA: I imagine you folks were pretty bummed about the scales of the Melky Cabrera/Jonathan Sanchez trade. Feeling any better about it now?
MV: Count me as someone who at the time thought it be ok because the team had a need for starting pitching and a surplus of outfielders. Royals fans quickly soured on this deal after Sanchez’s first start in Anaheim with how both players season took off. But you’re right KC fans are feeling a little better with turning Sanchez into Gurthrie then seeing the suspension that happened earlier this week.
MA: How far away do you think the Royals are from being a regular threat to the division?
MV: Currently we’re in year six of Dayton Moore’s “process” but 2013 or ’14 should be when the team is ready to compete with everyone in the division. Again this all comes down to PITCHING PITCHING PITCHING! The Royals also need to figure out who’s their second basemen is it former White Sox Chris Getz, Johnny Giavotella who’s been exiled to Omaha for reasons unknown to fans or Christian Colon who was KC’s first round draft pick a couple years ago. Also when does Wil Meyers finally get called up and does that mean Francoeur is a high paid backup?
Swing by Kings of Kauffman for the other half of the conversation.