The Royals are hot, and legitimately so. They are now 61-54 overall, seven games over .500, which means that with about 70 percent of the season complete they have been, on balance, a good team – and legitimately so.
The problem with this team, of course, is they have been so incredibly inconsistent. Their season has been largely defined by two 23-game stretches – a 4-19 stinkbomb in May, and the current 18-5 breakout that’s put energy back into the fan base and clubhouse.
They couldn’t have beat the T-Bones in May, and now since the All-Star break it’s 1977 again^.^ Kids, look it up ^^. This is what most who were around say is the best team in franchise history, 1985 or not. ^^ And, no. I wasn’t born then either.
The critical point, then, is about whether they’re more of what they’ve been these last three weeks or more of what they were in May. So much has changed since then. George Brett has been the hitting coach and then not. Sal Perez has been concussed. Eric Hosmer has been unlocked. Greg Holland has emerged as one of baseball’s best closers.
But, basically what we’re going to do here is lay out some key individuals and let you decide whether their more "true self" is what they did during 4-19 or 18-5.
This is an oversimplification, of course, too many factors to say anything definitively, but I do think there’s a strong case that these last 23 games are a better indication than the ones in May.
Of course, if you look at the season as a whole, the biggest thing is the defense
but this is fairly interesting anyway:
Sal Perez, during the stink: 15 games, 55 PAs, .364/.364/.473.
Sal Perez, during the rise: 16 games, 58 PAs, .245/.293/.302.
Eric Hosmer, during the stink: 22 games, 93 PAs, .264/.304/.333.
Eric Hosmer, during the rise: 23 games, 104 PAs, .340/.375/.485.
Mike Moustakas, during the stink: 18 games, 67 PAs, .159/.209/.333.
Mike Moustakas, during the rise: 21 games, 89 PAs, .288/.348/.500.
Alex Gordon, during the stink: 23 games, 100 PAs, .389/.440/.556.
Alex Gordon, during the rise: 22 games, 102 PAs, .228/.275/.457.
Billy Butler, during the stink: 23 games, 94 PAs, .259/.330/.388.
Billy Butler, during the rise: 23 games, 92 PAs, .346/.413/.494.
James Shields, during the stink: 5 starts, 37 IP, 30 H, 10 W, 34 K, 2.92 ERA.
James Shields, during the rise: 5 starts, 33 IP, 37 H, 12 W, 20 K, 3.82 ERA.
Ervin Santana, during the stink: 5 starts, 34 1/3 IP, 34 H, 6 W, 26 K, 4.72 ERA.
Ervin Santana, during the rise: 5 starts, 32 IP, 27 H, 9 W, 24 K, 2.81 ERA.
Jeremy Guthrie, during the stink: 4 starts, 25 1/3 IP, 31 H, 10 W, 7 K, 6.39 ERA.
Jeremy Guthrie, during the rise: 5 starts, 33 IP, 36 H, 7 W, 28 K, 3.55 ERA.
All hitters, during the stink: .249/.296/.350, 3.4 runs per game.
All hitters, during the rise: .277/.331/.399, 4.5 runs per game.
All pitchers, during the stink: 200 IP, 210 H, 67 W, 142 K, 4.32 ERA.
All pitchers, during the rise: 214 2/3 IP, 193 H, 60 W, 186 K, 2.56 ERA.