The Kansas City Royals, perhaps more than any other year in recent memory, had designs of snapping their decades-long postseason drought in 2013.
The trade for James Shields and Wade Davis was supposed to be the exclamation point on their ascension, as the offseason trade meant to supplement a lineup of young hitters that seemed promising while developing through the system. At least you’d hope, as this deal sent off minor-league player of the year and much-needed bat Wil Myers.
However, the bats of Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Sal Perez, and Lorenzo Cain have struggled mightily this season to muster any power, as the Royals rank last in the American League in home runs with 28, are 13th in runs scored and sit last in the AL Central at 21-29.
In response to the slumping start, KC fired its hitting coach and replaced him with Jack Maloof and Andre Davis.
Maloof has his work cut out.
“There is just no reward here (for us) to try and hit home runs,” Maloof said, via Fox Sports Kansas City. “We try to stay down on the ball, be more line-drive oriented, and do more situational hitting at least through the first two or three rounds (at home) here. That’s why I’m not overly concerned because I think we’ll lead the league in fewest home runs again this year. We don’t have a 40-homer guy in the middle of the lineup.
“We’ve got kids. Billy Butler is a doubles machine. No one has told me he is a home run hitting guy. If we try to do it too much, we’ll get ourselves in trouble. Same thing with Alex (Gordon). They’ll hit home runs on the road, and yes, they’ll hit some here. They have. But the risk for them to go out and hit a home run in one of 80 at-bats, the reward isn’t great enough.