The Kansas City Royals still struggle to score runs with postseason-caliber consistency, but a little time may change that in a hurry. Just as Royals starting pitching won’t be perfect all season, the Royals’ offense can’t keep these struggles going for much longer. With the resurgence of two important contributors will come a colossal shift in efficiency.
Remember how awful Mike Moustakas was at the plate last season? Well, he still hit way better than .159. He’s currently averaging two full at-bats more per hit than he did last season. Unless you truly think “Moose” is destined for the minors, you must believe those numbers will improve. The experts who think he’ll finish the year under .200 are hard to find, but fans have even more reason to believe in Billy Butler.
Butler gets an incredible amount of flak in Kansas City, but this may be the time when it’s been the most warranted over his entire career. His .209/.275/.242 line is downright shocking, and a goose egg in the home run column indicates a serious problem for Kansas City’s offense as a whole. It’s not just an overreaction anymore. Billy’s probably in the biggest slump of his career right now.
Butler has a grand total of three extra-base hits this season, and his problems often translate into offensive impotence for the entire team. The amount of runs scored by a team’s DH is a telling stat; the two teams who ranked in the AL’s top three last season in both batting average and RBI by their DH wound up playing each other for the pennant. The Royals and Seattle Mariners are tied for 12th in this statistic with 8, while divisional rivals Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers tie for dead last with 6.
Butler is bound to turn it around, and it looks like he’s already getting closer. Since April 15, Butler has played all four of his multi-hit games this season and raised his average from .143 to .209. Moustakas has also shown flair of his power returning, but nothing to induce as much hope as Butler has.
Until Butler and Moose can provide steady offensive output, Kansas City will struggle to keep up with Detroit in the AL Central. More potency at the number four and five spots in the order could end up being the Royals’ final piece to the postseason puzzle.