By Aaron Charles @aaroncharleskc on August 5, 2014
The Kansas City Royals are in the thick of the playoff hunt in the American League. The team did next to nothing before the trade deadline, so Kansas City is going to need some players to step up if they want to see the postseason. Here are five players who need to come up big in August to keep the Royals in the playoff race.
Surprisingly Infante leads the Royals with 51 RBIs, but he isn't getting on base nearly enough for a player hitting in the two hole. His .306 OBP and 36 runs scored are very disappointing. The front office expected better than that when they signed him in the offseason.
Guthrie is the lone starting pitcher for the Royals with an ERA above 4.00. He was roughed up badly throughout July, but he started August with a gem against the Oakland Athletics. The Royals need Guthrie to return to his early season form and lower his 4.50 ERA.
Vargas is having a career year, but he was rocked for seven runs by Oakland in his return from having his appendix removed. Kansas City needs him to get back on track sooner rather than later.
There's a good chance Eric Hosmer will miss all of August, which means Butler will be filling the 2013 Gold Glove winner's big shoes at first base. He's improved from a very slow start at the plate, but the Royals would benefit immensely if Butler could boost his power numbers a bit more.
Ibanez will likely see more plate appearances with Hosmer out, and his .172 average is not going to cut it. The Royals could benefit from the 42-year-old's potential power, but he's got to lift that batting average in order to stay in the lineup.
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