Kansas City Royals April analysis
The Kansas City Royals have finished the month of April with a 14-10 record and are half a game out of first place. Because of the oddities with the April schedule, the Royals have a game in hand against the Detroit Tigers, with both teams having 10 losses.
What is particularly notable is that the longest losing streak of the year so far for the Royals is two games. Not only is that an improvement on the 12 of last year, is is objectively very good.
One needs look no farther than the starting pitching for the reason why. So far, the Royals have got pretty much everything they have asked from their new starting rotation and have fought hard in a lot of games that would have been lost in the early innings a year (or two, or three) ago.
The bullpen has also been largely good, though both Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland, so reliable last year, had some shaky moments in the first fortnight of the season. They may have to make further adjustments as the year goes on as well.
What the bullpen certainly has been is well-rested. Contrary to a year ago (again), the Royals’ starters have been consistently going deep into games and thus saving the bullpen. In fact, they have almost been too rested and there have been some suggestions that some of their flaws have been due to rust.
But not all was sunshine and roses for the Royals in April (partly literally; the sun was out for maybe two games all month and it’s still way too cold). The offence was largely quiet this month. Although Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain both had great months and Alcides Escobar had a very good one, the rest of the bats were indifferent at best. Mike Moustakas didn’t start to break out of a prolonged slump until the very end of the month. This may improve as the weather warms up and the Royals start to play more consistently, however.
There is a lot of time left in the year for something to go wrong, and specifically the Royals have tended to collapse in or around the second week of May; but right now, the team would have to say that the first sixth of their plan for the season has been accomplished well.