Royals Reenter Playoff Conversation
The Royals have suddenly become part of conversations again after being left for dead about a month ago. Winning 8 games in a row and 13 of 15 takes care of a lot of bad losses in July. The Royals have chosen an opportune time to get hot. They have been feasting on division opponents during this surge in August.
The Royals can be grateful for the Twins and White Sox. They’ve beaten the Central division bottom feeders 20 times in 25 games. The Royals still have 13 games left against Minnesota and Chicago. The Royals have a big week ahead with road games in Miami and Boston. The pitching has been phenomenal during this run with everybody on the staff contributing – even Chris Young. Ian Kennedy has been just short of brilliant for the past month. He went through a stretch where he couldn’t keep the ball in the park. He was a gas can getting lit up by the long ball. However the last 4 times out he’s become a lethal strikeout artist.
New Deal For Duffy?
As good as Kennedy has been Danny Duffy has been even better and the real difference maker on this team. Duffy has won 10 straight decisions and moved his record to 11-1. He becomes a free agent after the 2017 season.
Do the Royals try to lock him up with a big money deal? Remember Duffy once tweeted “Bury me a Royal!” Duffy is also a guy who walked away from the game early in his career. He needed TJ surgery to fix an arm problem three years ago. Any big contracts to pitchers can be risky but you’ve got to have more than one arm you can count on every time out. The Royals could probably sign Duffy to a 4 year deal in the neighborhood of $35-40 million. I’m sure he wants more but it would be a gamble the Royals may not want to make.
Gordon Starting to ROI
Alex Gordon already has his money and finally has decided to do something to earn it. He has gone on a tear the last dozen games. Gordon belted 5 home runs in a 5 game stretch. He’s been dreadful up to now. By comparison, rookie, Cheslor Cuthbert, and Gordon have played the same number of games. Gordon’s offensive production pales to what Cuthbert has contributed at the plate. The rookie has better numbers in nearly every statistical category except home runs. Oh yes, Gordon makes $12 million a year while Cuthbert makes the minimum of $507 thousand. The good news is that the Royals have battled their way back into contention for a wild card. That brings us all back and keeps things interesting in September. This hot streak has been impressive to watch, a horrible string of losses (19) back in July could prove to be too much to overcome.
The Royals can’t stay hot forever. It will take about 87 wins to get a wild card. The Royals would have to go 23–15 to the finish line. It’s possible but not probable.