Fans of Breaking Bad know if you want to make sure things get done, there can be no half measures. What the Kansas City Royals are trying to get done is a little different from what Walter White is trying to do, but the point stands. Was the addition of Justin Maxwell a big enough move for the Royals to make a serious run for a playoff spot?
On paper, he doesn’t look like the most exciting pickup, but he has been on fire in his short time with the team. The career .229 hitter has hit in nine of 10 games, sporting a .416 batting average with three HRs, seven RBIs, and seven runs in just 24 at-bats.
Maxwell immediately made an impact for Kansas City with a 12th-inning go-ahead home run against the New York Mets in his second at-bat with the team. On Monday night, he came through once again versus the Miami Marlins with an RBI triple and run scored in the fourth inning, aiding the Royals in their 5-2 win.
With the Detroit Tigers falling to the Chicago White Sox on Monday, the Royals are now 6.5 games behind the Tigers in the AL Central and begin a five-game series with them on Thursday. Kansas City is closer to a Wild Card spot at four games back, but with 11 games remaining against Detroit, taking the division is not out of the question.
The trade for Maxwell may seem underwhelming, but it helped fill the Royals’ biggest area of need with his power. His hot bat has them in great position to win their eighth straight series.
They definitely could have done more, but I wouldn’t exactly call this a half measure. A small-market team like Kansas City can’t afford to go all-in, but this was a great move nonetheless. They improved their most glaring weakness and didn’t sell out their future to do so.