Originally Posted by Literature
Obviously, it was a disappointing season. However, there were plenty of bright spots and things that make me look forward to next year. Notwithstanding Moose's own judgment, I think he's developing into a solid, if still inconsistent, hitter. I think Hosmer will rebound from the sophomore slump. I think Gordon has found his groove and will continue to hit above-average and play stellar defense. Butler will continue to be a great foundation of our offense, and Escobar will continue to be a great foundation of our infield (and his surprising offensive stats might dip down, but could still remain a plus).
Barring injury, we will have Perez and Cain for full seasons. That's beautiful. With Myers coming up, our outfield offensive production will rise.
Guthrie may have found a right fit for him in KC. I hope so. I am optimistic he has. We still have solid relievers in Crow, Holland, Herrara, and Collins, and we'll see about Soria, though I'm expecting he's done in one way or another.
We have one weakness. Granted, it's a big one. But it can be addressed this offseason.
I'm really looking forward to next April. I will be very disappointed if Hoch and Chen are anything more than our 3rd starter.
The offensive outlook is promising, especially if they swap Frenchy for Myers sooner rather than later.
I think Moustakas improves next year, and Hosmer bounces back. Get similar contributions from Butler and Gordon, and you're talking about 4 guys who can really drive an offense.
My fear is that they're going to stick with hitting Cain (and Dyson on some days) in the leadoff spot, and give way too many at-bats to a hitter who isn't one of the best hitters on the team.
I'm also not sold on Escobar as the 2 hitter. Once Myers is up, I think that would be a good spot to slot him. He's a guy who can take a walk and punish fastballs, things that would be handy hitting in front of Gordon and Butler.
I love Escobar, but him hitting second is, to me, an indication or relic of Yost's obsession with "old-man baseball" that dictates your 2 hitter be a really good sacrifice bunter.
As for the rotation... I think you can probably extinguish all hope - except blind luck - if both Hochevar and Chen are in the rotation to start the season.
Chen I'm fine with. He didn't have a great year, but I think his performance would take a step up in a better rotation (Where Yost asks him to stretch out less - it seems like MOST of the damage done vs. Chen was in the last inning of his outings). A quicker hook makes him more effective.
You can afford a quicker hook IF the rest of the rotation is solid and eats innings.
I'd still like to see the Royals acquire Anibal Sanchez. He's been my favorite target for a LONG time.
Throw in re-signing Guthrie (2 years, option for 3rd) and someone on a one-year flyer (High-end: Dan Haren; Low-end: Kevin Millwood type), and the rotation is in shape to compete in the Central, IMO, with a pretty good shot to make the playoffs IF the one-year flyer pitches really well.
Final two spots would come from Chen, Mendoza, Odorizzi, Will Smith, John Lamb, etc.