The Kansas City Royals have made a lot of noise during the off-season, most notably trading away their farm system for James Shields and Wade Davis from the Tampa Bay Rays. Predictably, a lot of Royals fans are excited about the upcoming 2013 season, even if I am a little iffy about the team. However, there is definitely one thing I am not iffy on whatsoever, and that is Kansas City’s remarkable bullpen.
The Royals bullpen surprised a lot of people in 2012, even without an injured Joakim Soria. The bullpen was so good, in fact, that the Royals top two pitchers – in terms of fWAR – were Greg Holland and Kelvin Herrera. With the acquisition of Davis, that vaunted Kansas City bullpen is going to be even better in 2013, and will be the main reason why they have a chance in the weak American League Central.
The Detroit Tigers are the clear favorite to win the division, but their bullpen is definitely weak compared to a lot of the powerhouses in the American League. Normally, I wouldn’t care all that much about a team’s bullpen, and I definitely would not proclaim it as a reason for a team to win a division title, but hey, the 2012 Baltimore Orioles happened, right?
The Orioles made the playoffs solely on the performance of that amazing bullpen. There’s no reason that the Kansas City Royals can’t do the same in 2013. While I think the Tigers are a mortal lock to win the division, there still are two wild card spots the Royals can rip away from the traditional powerhouses.
I wouldn’t bet against them.