There’s just no way around some of the growing pains the Kansas City Royals would probably like to avoid at points like this. After the 19-1 beating the team took at the hands of the Cleveland Indians, the Royals made several transactions and punctuated it with the arrival of highly regarded starting pitcher Danny Duffy from the minors. Just like Eric Hosmer two weeks prior, it was another morale and publicity boost to a franchise that looks like it is turning the corner with each and every win.
Then come the growing pains. Hosmer has fared well at the major league level thus far with a smoking .929 OPS while exhibiting patience and power at the plate. Duffy, on the other hand, might have needed more seasoning before making his debut.
There were moments of sheer beauty — a confidence behind his fastball, good movement at times, pitching out of a bases loaded jam. But 94 pitches in 4 innings just won’t cut it. Neither will allowing 10 of 21 total batters faced to get on base. Those signs point to the majors being a bit overwhelming, and Duffy’s talent could only get him so far.
The majors are a very large stage, and the Royals need to remember this. Either they truly allow their players to mature and not feel the need to prove something here and now, or else they brace for the inevitable growing pains. Fans need to do the same.