I know it’s been a rough start. I know things look grim after two thoroughly upsetting losses, and I know this isn’t the May that the Kansas City Royals or their fans wanted. Mike Moustakas is an Omaha Storm Chaser, the offense is still limping along and the Royals can’t seem to stay above .500 for more than a day. Where can KC find hope, when even the worst team in baseball can pound the Royals in front of a big home crowd?
A club struggling as mightily as this can only find hope in the opportunity for change. Perhaps the team’s most important change is taking place with their designated hitter, the polarizing Billy Butler. Fans who still think Butler will continue to struggle now have some telling evidence to contend with this month. Butler’s abysmal April has led to a much more productive May so far.
He’s posted a frighteningly bad .223/.286/.255 slash line in April, but he picked things up this month with a .273/.333/.377 line. If he can keep raising that slugging percentage, the Royals may actually spend the rest of the season capitalizing on their constant barrage of bloopers.
Nine of KC’s 10 hits last night were singles, which aptly exemplifies the Royals’ key problem on offense. The Royals have 425 hits prior to this game, which puts them at 18th in the league and 11th in the AL. This isn’t impressive by anyone’s standards, but it sure beats their 118 total extra-base hits, which is comfortably the lowest total in baseball. Butler is the heart of this offense, which now means he’s the heart of Kansas City’s problems. The Royals won’t be able to salvage this season without his help.