2016 Kansas City Royals

From BR Bullpen

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2016 Kansas City Royals / Franchise: Kansas City Royals / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 81-81, Finished 3rd in AL Central Division (2016 AL)

Managed by Ned Yost

Coaches: Dave Eiland, Pedro Grifol, Doug Henry, Mike Jirschele, Rusty Kuntz, Dale Sveum and Don Wakamatsu

Ballpark: Kauffman Stadium

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

The 2016 Kansas City Royals were coming off a World Series title and back-to-back American League pennants, but there were still a lot of naysayers, a result of their winning formula not respecting the accepted precepts of the day: they were a team that did not seek to draw walks and did not build their offense around the home run, whose greatest strengths were batting average and defensive efficiency, in addition to a shutdown bullpen creating numerous opportunities for late-inning comebacks.

The Royals did get off to a good start, going 8-4 over their first 12 games. However, they sputtered after that and by mid-May were at 16-18 while the Chicago White Sox had built a big league on top of the AL Central. That came on May 12th, a day on which two starting pitchers, Kris Medlen and Chris Young, landed on the disabled list on the same day, which could have been a major cause of concern. However, manager Ned Yost remained serene, pointing out that the team had gone through rough patches during its last two successful seasons and that its core remained in place.

The Royals could not get hot however and although the White Sox soon fell back in the standings, the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers surged ahead of them. Injuries were a problem, the most serious a season-ending knee injury to 3B Mike Moustakas on May 22nd, while Ps Medlen, Wade Davis and Luke Hochevar were also sidelined for long stretches. More generally, the offense was sputtering. On August 5th, they set a club record by scoring three or fewer runs for the ninth straight game in a 4-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays; unsurprisingly, they were only 2-7 during that stretch, losing further ground. At that point they were in 4th place, 7 games below .500 and 11 behind the first-place Indians, with almost no chance of returning to the postseason to defend their title. However, just when obituaries were being written, the Royals got hot, winning 9 straight games in late August to get right back into the postseason race. The bullpen had a streak of 32 consecutive scoreless innings during that month, contributing to the turnaround. Another win on August 29th gave them 18 over their last 22 games and brought them within two games of a wild card slot.

Awards and Honors[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Richard Justice: "Starter kit: KC rides rotation back into contention; Duffy emerges as ace for revitalized defending champs", mlb.com, August 21, 2016. [1]
  • Howard Megdal: "Familiar with rough patches, struggling Royals see no need to panic", USA Today Sports, May 13, 2016. [2]
  • Jorge L. Ortiz: "At 8-4, Royals once again doing things that are 'not stat-able'", USA Today Sports, April 18, 2016. [3]
  • Jorge L. Ortiz: "Postseason chances fade for defending World Series champion Royals", USA Today Sports, September 16, 2016. [4]
  • Tracy Ringolsby: "Royals' quest to repeat is no easy feat", mlb.com, July 20, 2016. [5]
  • Phil Rogers: "5 ways Royals can be even better this season", mlb.com, March 16, 2016. [6]
  • Lyle Spencer: "Aggressive approach part of Royals' game: Style that won championship in 2015 a throwback to old-school play", mlb.com, February 29, 2016. [7]