While my introductory statement was clearly in jest, the Royals are indeed tied for 1st place in the AL Central. They are coming off a three-game series with the sadder-sack Chicago White Sox, and are 2-1. The Twins will be making a quick stop in Kansas City for two contests at the beginning of their first road trip of the season.
The Royals are in the midst of a rebuild, coming off a 104-loss season (and maybe headed toward another). Furthermore, they traded away their 2nd-best player, Mike Moustakas, in July of last year. Their best player, All-Star catcher Salvador Perez, was lost to Tommy John surgery this spring, and he will miss the whole year. They offset these losses by adding journeyman catcher Martin Maldonado and speedy (but that’s about all) outfielder Billy Hamilton. One player to keep an eye on, though, is speedy second baseman Whit Merrifield. He is a slick defender and no slouch at the plate.
Their pitching staff is similarly in flux, as top starter Danny Duffy will be out until the end of April. The four-man rotation they are rolling with right now is largely unproven, and their bullpen (after losing Kelvin Herrera to free agency) is nothing to write home about either.
Without further ado, here is the roster:
All in all, I think the Twins should be able to build on their strong first series. Cleveland’s lineup was very unimpressive, but don’t take too much credit away from the strong pitching performances that were put out. Kansas City’s lineup is no more impressive than Cleveland’s, and their pitching is certainly worse. Jose Berrios is taking the mound in game one, and if he picks up where he left off on Opening Day, the Twins will be able to grab an early lead in the division.
Tuesday, April 2nd, 7:15 PM CDT
Jose Berrios vs. Brad Keller
Wednesday, April 3rd, 12:15 PM CDT
Kyle Gibson vs. TBD
How many games will the Twins take from the Royals?
This poll is closed
0. Still a huge pessimist.
2. Division title, here we come!