By Doug LaCerte @DLaC67 on March 27, 2014
The Kansas City Royals have an exciting season ahead of them, and fans expect success. It's hard to blame the more vocal of them who now criticize numerous Royals for their Spring Training performances, but let's not forget that these struggles are rare for KC this year. Nonetheless, some players have objectively disappointed, inciting either fear or frustration from the hungry but hopeful fans in Kansas City. Here are six noteworthy examples.
I've previously mentioned how pointless the signing of this marginally talented outfielder was, and the numbers seem to prove my point. Paredes' 30 at-bats as a Royal yielded five singles, one walk and one RBI. His performance culminated in a .167/.194/.167 line that served only to send him to the minors.
Despite showing a lot of promise in his prior MLB outings, Louis Coleman hasn't seemed to get it all together in the Cactus League this year. His 13.5 ERA and seven walks in just six innings pitched sound like bad news for a reliever who already struggles to stay on the team when he's almost lights-out.
Pedro Ciriaco didn't do nearly enough to make the Royals rethink their choice on keeping Danny Valencia as their only backup infielder. A .264 average without a single walk and six errors cemented his place in Omaha this year, at least to start.
The normally steady Jeremy Guthrie has struggled to find his stuff this spring, which is frightening to say about a player in such a pivotal role. Fans can and should assume that Guthrie will improve on his 7.04 ERA over 15.1 innings of Cactus League play. He and fellow starter Bruce Chen, who has an even more abysmal 7.27 ERA this spring, just need the right touch to be effective, and that comes with time.
If Mike Moustakas emerges like fans hope and Danny Valencia continues at the rate he's going, he will have come to Kansas City solely to warm the benches. In 45 spring ABs, Valencia has recorded an unnervingly low .222 batting average. His .311 slugging percentage is the lowest among any Royals with more than 30 Spring Training at-bats.
Like I just wrote, Danny Duffy has been this spring's biggest disappointment for KC. An ERA over 11 and a BAA of .333 got him swiftly sent to the minors, only to leave fans waiting and wondering yet again.
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