So we’ve reached the midway point in what was supposed to be a transitional season. A season where the young guys would start to filter in and the Royals would stop finishing in last place. The young guys are here, but last place is still the reality. More than anything, I blame the Cleveland Indians, who are still playing way above their heads.
Normally, I’ll hand out a report card so to speak at the All-Star Break, which has always served as the de facto half way point, even if most of the time teams are on their 90th game of the season.
So while you breathlessly await my grades, I figured it was a good time to throw some second half predictions out there.
The Royals will hold on to Jeff Francoeur and both sides will exercise their mutual option for 2012 at $3 million and tack on another mutual option for 2013.
At the press conference announcing the deal, Dayton Moore will choke back tears as he talks about being in The Frenchman’s house when he signed his first professional contract.
Kyle Davies will finish the season in the Royals rotation.
And will promptly be arrested by Federal agents on the last day of the season on blackmail charges. The charges will be thrown out a month later when no evidence surfaces. “We just assumed he had dirt on Glass or Moore,” an FBI spokesman will tell reporters. “Because, otherwise who would choose to keep running that stiff out there every fifth or six day on their own free will?”
Melky Cabrera will be traded.
For some team’s #25th ranked prospect. The half fanbase will come to a near revolt that GMDM couldn’t pry away a Top 100 prospect stud for the Melk-Man. The other half will flood Facebook with messages of disbelief that GMDM would be insane enough to trade away our leadoff hitter.
Ned Yost will allow Sean O’Sullivan to surrender 21 runs in three innings to the Detroit Tigers in a September start.
“I thought he was a pitch or two of getting out of it,” Yost will tell the reporters.
Someone will refer to Billy Butler as a “baseclogger.”
That someone will be Ned Yost following a game where Butler reaches base five times but his teammates fail to drive him home.
Jason Kendall will make his return at the end of August and will start each of the final 35 games.
After the team celebrates his return with cake and ice cream in the clubhouse, Yost tells a reporter the team has missed Kendall’s leadership. “What’s our record without him? You think O’Sullivan would have been so crummy in that May start against Texas with Kendall behind the plate? Brayan Pena has a nice smile, but he can’t catch for crap.”
We will not see Johnny Giovatella this season.
Because that would undermine the team’s eventual campaign for “Chris Getz! Gold Glove Second Baseman.”
Luke Hochevar finishes with a 5.50 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.
Then demands $8 million in arbitration this winter because he was the team’s Opening Day starter.
Wilson Betemit and Mitch Maier will go missing for five days.
Nobody associated with the Royals will notice.
Alcides Escobar will have another hot streak with the bat that will last a couple of weeks and will continue to make outstanding defensive plays. He won’t win the Gold Glove.
And every time The Shortstop Jesus makes a sterling defensive play, four out of five Royals fans will say, “Damn, Betancourt wouldn’t have come close to that one.” The other one fan will complain about his lack of bat.
Mike Moustakas will drive in a run on a hit that is not a home run.
Really. It’s going to happen.
Alex Gordon will parlay his All-Star selection into a strong second half and finish the season with the best all around year of his career.
Yep… That’s going to happen, too.
The Royals will finish in fourth place.
Because I’m an optimist at heart.