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Old 04-05-2017, 10:55 AM  
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*** Official 2017 Royals Repository ***

Chiefsplanet’s (Proposed) 2017 Season Title: One Last Ride

Midish-Season Update (Royals 51-47, 2nd Wild Card, 1.5 GB of ALC):

We're halfway through 2017, and fittingly to the Chiefsplanet's 2017 Season Title, the Royals are all-in on what will likely be one final run with the current core. While many are worried the Royals will take a 2004 style tumble after this year, the farm system is hardly the barren wasteland it was during the Baird years. To see what's in the pipeline and what we have to look forward to, check out this exceptional list and analysis that Duncan put together of our system.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...htmlview#gid=0

While I had the honor of starting this thread this year, Duncan will always have a VIP pass to this OP, and can add more content at any time.

2017's Burning Questions Revisited:

1. What is the threshold between being “buyers” and “sellers” at the deadline?

We're buyers, baby.

In April, I argued that it would be a wise strategy for us to sell if we were 5 GB or worse, but that Dayton would likely add supplemental pieces for us to load up for another run if we were 1-2 GB. On July 24th, the Royals found themselves in sole possession of the 2nd wild card spot and 1.5 games back of the division. In April I said the Royals might pull the trigger on someone like Alex Cobb and resign Luke Hochevar, but since the Rays are also buyers and Luke's shoulder hasn't rebounded, this prediction hasn't come to fruition. Luckily, Dayton Moore again proved much more adept and creative than me by adding Trevor Cahill (good call, Duncan), Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter in a single trade. Giving us a solid starter to compete in 2017, and two relievers whom we will control through 2019 and 2021, respectively, keeping Moore's new vision through 2019-2020 intact. Moore has hinted that the Royals will continue to pursue the right deals if they're there, so the fun may not be over just yet. While we may not have the bullets to pull in a "star" like Cueto or Zo, Moore's adeptness may yet again net us what we need for another run in October.

2. Can Gordo and Moose bounce back to 2015 levels?

In April I asked if Gordo could at least set the table at a 265/325/425 clip and if Moose could deliver damage around a 265/335/500 clip for an entire year. This season Mr. Moustakas has been the prospect that was promised, delivering at a 277/307/568 clip as of this update. Gordo, on the other hand, has put up an unbelievably abysmal line thus far. But, if there is a silver lining, it's that Gordo has performed at a 246/311/432 line since June 1st, and if he can continue to perform near that mark, he will be more than a valuable asset at the bottom of the lineup while he continues to provide the best LF defense in the league.

3. Can Ned Yost manage a bullpen?

In April, I felt that despite the poor start, Royals bullpen would ultimately be "solid" this year, but the question was whether "solid" was good enough for Ned. I argued that the Royals needed Soria to bounce back and that Ned would need to start being strategic in his L/L and R/R matchups. While Ned has still made at times baffling and frustrating decisions with his starters (such as allowing Travis Wood to try to "get the win" and still insisting on sending Hammel out for the 6th, he's mostly done a good job).

MASH: Minor/Moylan - Alexander - Soria - Herrera (Credit to C3HIEF3S for the origins of the phrase) have cemented into reliable pieces, and now that Herrera is showing signs of stabilizing, our dumping of Wood, our call up Flynn, and the acquisition of Buchter and Maurer, the Royals have the potential to enter October with one of the best and deepest bullpens in the postseason.

4. Will the Royals find a boost from an unexpected X-Factor to lift them to contention?

Cool-Whit, Boni, Mike ****ing Minor, and Alexander have come up huge thus far. Cool Whit is, incredibly, is second on the team in WAR and has more than replaced Zo's presence on the team. They, like the X-Factors on the 2014-2015 teams, have been critical cogs as we've raced back to contention, while Cool-Whit and Boni also have provided a rosier outlook for this team's future. It's worth noting that Salvador Perez and Jason Vargas has been beasts on offense and the mound (along with Sal providing his customary defensive excellence), but I am still a bit wary of Salvy's annual Yost assisted offensive drought as the team moves into August, along with Vargy regressing to his averages.

5. Can Jorge Soler and Brandon Moss be productive contributors in Kauffman’s dimensions?

Ouch, no, but the Royals shift to power-hitting in the juiced ball era looks like one that will pay off. Thankfully, Moss is showing signs of entering his seasonal hot streak where he becomes corn-fed Jesus for a month, and we'll need him hot to keep up with Cleveland down the stretch. While Jorge has been painful to watch in the majors, his scorching performance in AAA should give one a bright hope for the future. While some may disagree, I offer Moose, Hos, Gordo, and Duffy's struggles as exhibit A for why it is far too early to give up on Soler's potential.

Bonus Question - Is Raul Mondesi truly ready to be an everyday player?

Ha! Not even close. However, like Soler, his progress in AAA is incredibly encouraging. With ceilings like Lindor and floors being Esky being thrown out there, it's hard not to be excited about his future.

The Picture Forward

There are many reasons to be excited, and not only for 2017. The Royals emergence of Cool Whit, Bonifacio, and Scott Alexander, and the fact that we have pieces like Salvador Perez, Danny Duffy, Kelvin Herrera, Jorge Soler, Ryan Buchter, Brandon Maurer Cheslor Cuthbert, and Raul Mondesi until at least 2019 should leave one feeling pretty optimistic. Re-up Moose or Hos (and heck, re-sign Dyson while we're at it), and suddenly this team looks very much like one that could compete for the indefinite future.

The Royals are all in again, buckle in and enjoy the ride.

April OP:

Spoiler!

Last edited by Chiefspants; 08-02-2017 at 01:53 PM..
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:00 AM   #436
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It will be nice to get all the bandwagoners out of the way though.
Yeah!^ that's what a small market sports franchise needs: fewer fans. Good call
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:05 AM   #437
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It will be nice to get all the bandwagoners out of the way though.
Yes, I much prefer this.

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Old 04-26-2017, 09:06 AM   #438
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On facebook, it's pretty easy to distinguish the fans who were accustomed to the Royals annual 12 game April-May losing streak (a proud tradition from 1995-2013), and the sweet summer children who started following the team during the late-year runs in 13-14 (who are having nightly meltdowns).

Nothing wrong with either, but I do wonder if the bandwagoners might start wearing red again if Royals go rebuild and the Cards turn it up again in the near future.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:07 AM   #439
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Baseball is a long season. It's funny people throwing the towel in April.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:15 AM   #440
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Baseball is a long season. It's funny people throwing the towel in April.
I have to keep reminding myself we're still not out of April yet. It feels like it's been two months already.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:25 AM   #441
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Baseball is a long season. It's funny people throwing the towel in April.
That's a fair point but if we look a little deeper, it's not just an April issue.

It appears Alex Gordon's time as a viable offensive player has passed. He's sucked for multiple months over the past 2 seasons.

Escobar, aside from a few fool's gold-ish type seasons, is not a viable offensive player and is not the second coming of Ozzie Smith some make him out to be

Brandon Moss has sucked for months across 2 different seasons and leagues

Still no second baseman

Hosmer insists on every AB being the one that nets him $200 mill

Wood, Hammel, Karns= meh

What am I missing? Don't take the above as a knock on the overall past body of work. I'll always love Gordo, Esky, Hoz, etc for delivering a championship. But as a collective, they look dead in the water. Could the turn it around? Yeah, sure. I hope they do but it doesn't appear likely. If I'm wrong I'll be here(I'll be here all year anyway)to say I was wrong.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:29 AM   #442
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:38 AM   #443
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:43 AM   #444
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Yeah!^ that's what a small market sports franchise needs: fewer fans. Good call
Only on the days I attend games. If you can get whole sections to myself again, then I'm all for it.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:54 AM   #445
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:58 AM   #446
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Hindsight is 20-10
Does going all in for 1 season ever work in sports?
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:09 AM   #447
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I would not put money that this is a playoff team, but it's right that there's a long way to go. In baseball you don't need to be out of this world great to make a run. We're basically 1/8th through the season. You could average an 11-9 record in each following eighth of the season and we'd at least be in the playoff race because there are so many games. You just have to win series.
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:11 AM   #448
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Does going all in for 1 season ever work in sports?
That's exactly what they didn't do. If they were going all in they wouldn't have traded Dyson or Davis for guys that are controlled beyond this year.
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:14 AM   #449
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That's exactly what they didn't do. If they were going all in they wouldn't have traded Dyson or Davis for guys that are controlled beyond this year.
Yet they signed Hammel and kept all the overrated scrubs.
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:21 AM   #450
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Yet they signed Hammel and kept all the overrated scrubs.
What were they supposed to do after Ventura died? Just go to a four man rotation? It was the end of free agency and he was easily the most established starter left.
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