Opening Day is still a couple of weeks away, but it’s nearing. The White Sox open up with the Royals at U.S. Cellular Field this year, a team that is purported to have improved themselves through the addition of pitching in the offseason. While the AL Central landscape is largely unknown outside of the presence of defending the American League champions Detroit Tigers, the Royals are looking for new pitching acquisitions like James Shields and Ervin Santana to put them in the mix. I took some time to chat with Mike Vamosi at Kings of Kauffman about the upcoming season.
Matt Adams: I suppose question number one for folks in the Kansas City area is how do you feel about acquiring James Shields? Or even, how do you feel about parting ways with Wil Myers before really getting a chance to see what he can do?
Mike Vamosi: At first I think many had the feeling of shock given how Jeff Francoeur played last season which then lead to well the team needs pitching. Shields has thrown well this spring and has said all the right things since coming to KC even comparing the experience to how it felt before 2008 in Tampa. Wil Myers ultimately will sway the mood of this deal but his starting in triple-A does ease things a bit. To answer the question though I wanted to see how Myers could do but understand that you need to give something to get something.
MA: Is it a make or break situation for Dayton Moore’s process? At some point, the whole thing has to end in wins, right?
MV: Absolutely this is a make or break year for the “process” and the roster reflects it, adding Shields, Ervin Santana, Wade Davis plus bringing back Jeremy Guthrie should help the win column. If the club can show enough improvement the offseason optimism should be enough plus will hopefully open the teams window to compete. But wins are the most important part no ifs, ands or buts.
MA: There are plenty of people that feel that every team in the division is in a position to battle for second place behind the Tigers. Do the Royals, or anyone else have a shot at knocking Detroit off the top step?
MV: Kansas City only beat Detroit a couple times last season while playing well against everyone else in the division. Overcoming what seems to be a mental hurdle of losing several close games to the Tigers will be key to the team keeping contact with them. I do think everyone will have the opportunity and Detroit will have a fight on its hands with several hungry teams in 2013.
MA: Are there any Royals players you expect to break out in 2013?
MV: From what I expect and needs to happen to be competitive is how I look at this question. Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer need to breakout to give KC the chance to fulfill the promise that many have for the team. But players I expect to breakout are White Sox killer Sal Perez seems like he could have that season. I’m intrigued by newcomer Davis who is just as important in the Myers-Shields trade given the need for starting pitching.
Be sure and check out the other half of the chat at Kings of Kauffman!