Kansas City currently sits at 30-36, and is just four and half games behind the first place Cleveland Indians in the American League Central Division. They are officially ahead of last season's pace, as the team was 29-37 through their first 66 games.
It certainly seems like the Royals have overcome a lot, first there was the 3-14 start to the season, then we suffered (and continue to do so at times) through a relatively bad starting pitching staff. And now it seems like one of the team's key struggles has been run support. There is only one team in the American League that has scored fewer runs than Kansas City (the Oakland Athletics).
Of the 14 teams in the AL, eight have allowed more runs than the Royals. Actually Kansas City has allowed the fewest runs in their division. Still only two other teams have a worse run differential than the Royals currently have, which is -27. Ironically the Chicago White Sox, who are just a half game behind the Indians with a 35-32 record, have a run differential of -38.
So with all the good things you can think of, the team being only four and a half out, with all the injuries they have encountered, the fact is Kansas City still is only 12th in the American League in terms of winning percentage, and fourth place in their division.
Now the fact can be made that this certainly is the year that the division looks to be wide open, but the Royals shouldn't be looking to make any drastic moves in the next month via trades to try and earn a playoff spot this year. It would simply be placing too many eggs in one basket.
Kansas City should benefit internally with the return of players such as Felipe Paulino, Salvador Perez, and Lorenzo Cain all returning from the disabled list. Cain is a defensive upgrade in center, and has the capability to provide the team with a better offensive return than Jarrod Dyson. Perez should provide better offensive statistics than the Royals have gotten all year from the catching position. With that, Perez is also likely ahead of both Brayan Pena and Humberto Quintero is terms of handling the pitching staff behind the plate as well.
And in his short time on the staff this year, Paulino has been Kansas City's most productive starter. Of course all of these are assumptions, but they also aren't far from the truth either.
Should Kansas City make a move, if it can improve the team as whole? Sure, Kansas City should do what they can to look to improve the starting rotation, especially. However that comes with caution.
The Royals should not be doing anything that would forfeit the progress of the organization as whole. Teams that are still below .500, and sitting fourth in their division don't package their top few prospects for a starting pitcher at the deadline. This should be true no matter how many games back in the division you are.
So my message for Kansas City fans who are begging for help towards a potential playoff push this year? Stay the course and doesn't do anything to jeopardize the future by trading a Wil Myers or Jake Odorizzi, trying to hang on to potential playoff hopes that likely won't happen in 2012 anyway.
Let's get the three players mentioned previously back the disabled list as they are likely more valuable than than anyone the Royals could realistically bring back in a trade.
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