The question was simple and basic to Royals general manager Dayton Moore prior to Thursdays series opener against the Los Angeles Angels at Kauffman Stadium.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
What are the Royals going to do to get out of a 4-13 slide?
Moore starts by saying what they wont do.
You know how people panic? he asked. Were not going to panic. Were not panicking. We are not panicking. Im not going to make excuses for young players. Im just not.
Ive seen a lot of them come up and do well. But we do have a lot of them in the lineup ... Well be all right.
The Royals optioned struggling reliever Kelvin Herrera to Class AAA Omaha prior to Thursdays game, but Moore suggested the same move is unlikely at this point for third baseman Mike Moustakas or any of the clubs underperforming position players.
Pitchers are different from position players, Moore said. First of all, its very difficult for a position player to ever develop beyond their level of competition.
If a position player goes down to Triple-A and has success, that doesnt mean hes going to come back up here and have success. For position players, a lot of it is getting to know pitchers.
The best major-league hitters oftentimes struggle against pitchers theyve never seen before. A lot of it is learning the league and seeing a certain quality of pitch. Thats going to develop them more than anything else.
There is no major-league model in the minor leagues. Theres no substitute to learning to hit major-league pitching. Youve got to face it.
Moore also declined to offer a timetable on the clubs patience with veteran outfielder Jeff Francoeur, a pending free agent who carried a .226 average into Thursdays game.
Youre always looking to improve your roster, Moore said, but its still very early. Its the same team that we left spring training with. Its the same team that was 17-10.
Weve got (118) games left, weve got a lot of baseball left, and were going to remain patient with the guys we have. I like the potential of this group.
In short, Moore intends for the Royals to stay the course.
As long as players are working hard and remain confident, he said, and the coaching staff remains confident theyre going to get through it, Im going to be very patient.
You cant go into spring training feeling great, if youre honest with yourself, and then leave spring training feeling good about your team; then feel good about your team through the first 30 games and then ... in the next 15, youre going to just panic?
You might as well get out of the business. Get out of the game. Were going to stay positive, and were going to expect to win. Were going to expect to get better. Thats what were going to do.
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