What Should the Royals Do by the All-Star Break, or Really in General, to Set Off on the Right Path?
Well folks, here we are. Approaching the halfway point of the season (AKA the All-Star Break) and the Royals have the 3rd worst record in baseball sitting at an abysmal 22-56. The pitching has been monumentally bad (though still moderately better than last year, at least the team has a consistent closer and the relievers aren't terrible. Just the starters really) Bats have been inconsistent as all get out, the fielding has been questionable, and this team's front office refuses to spend money/make money for the on the field product. Attendance is up 2% though, take that as you will. It IS also the first year of management for manager Matt Quatraro, pitching coach Brian Sweeney, and GM JJ Piccolo (Of whom has been a part of the organization for a couple years mind you, just not in the GM role)
Is there a chance to save this season and make the playoffs? Probably not, but there is a chance to at least salvage the season into one where you can at least have the building blocks for success over the next couple of years. You've got a young core, plenty of tradeable assets, and the spending power to be able to build a solid team, it's just a matter of capitalizing on these things and making the on the field product at the very least presentable. It can start with what the Royals do over the next couple of weeks leading up to the break, here are a few ideas.
The big thing is to find a guy (more than likely a younger player with ceiling, so probably not Salvy. Enough of that paranoia please) that you can trade and gain good assets for. Think MJ Melendez, Edward Olivares (Though his ceiling is quickly dropping), or Nick Pratto. Potentially you could even trade a pitcher like Brady Singer or Daniel Lynch, making room for a new pitcher to develop that you could obtain in the draft or trading for one that could allow for immediate success and mentorship. There's been rumblings of a potentially quiet offseason for the Royals and frankly I think that's unwise. If you want to be good enough to get the fanbase back on your side, you do something right now. Secondly, this upcoming draft HAS TO be a success. There's been a lot of Royal blunders over the years with drafting, especially in the pitching department, however one good draft could remedy several bad years. Draft well, have some balance in who you draft (STOP OVERLOADING PITCHING) and find program guys. Finally, be transparent with the fanbase and with the city for God's sake. Not just about the stadium dealings, of which have been all over the place in regard to where exactly this new stadium will be located, but also just what the plan of action is for the next few years. What is the management's focus? Where is the direction? Find it, because you have a lot of doubters and pessimists right now among the fanbase licking their chops at the next stupid thing the Royals end up doing. Prove that you can be competent, please. It's understandable that this is a new look Royals front office, but this new boss has been the same as the old boss thus far. That must change before things become truly critical.
What do you think though? Should the Royals be buyers, sellers, or stay the course leading up to the deadline? What should draft strategy look like? Do John Sherman and company need to be more transparent and look to improve the on the field product? Let me know in the comments below!
Burn Notice: 8/10 One spark could ignite a fire, I'll let you decide whether that is a good or bad analogy for the Royals' situation.