I am finally back in the States, so I am glad to get to watch Royals games once again. It was a tough month but I followed the boxscores every day and it seems like I didn't miss much in the form of great baseball.
When I left on Tuesday, May 17 the Royals were 20-20. While I was gone the Royals played at a 9-17 clip, and since I have returned they are 1-1. What is really amazing though is that even though the Royals have played so horrible over the last month they find themselves only 7 games out of first.
The summer is far from over and there are definitely signs of life from the boys in blue. The Royals are 4-2 in their last six games, and for a team that has historically played well agains the National League there could be reason for optimism moving forward.
The Royals winning percentage over the last six seasons against NL clubs is .577. They are 1-2 so far this season so for them to put up a similar winning percentage in 2011 they would have to finish interleague play at a 9-6 mark.
The division is shaping up to be a tight race moving forward so if the Royals can get one hot streak they are going to find themselves right in the thick of things once again. Just as they were a month ago.
While I was gone the Royals also drafted local legend Bubba Starling with the fifth overall selection of the draft. I would love to see the Royals sign Starling fast and get him some games as soon as possible. I even have a slight hope that because Nebraska reports for football on July 10 that there could be pressure for him to strike a deal sooner rather than later. However, most likely the negotiations will go right down to the wire.
As for my thoughts on the selection. I think that given the way the draft unfolded the Royals weren't really left with the opportunity to go another route without clearly making a reach selection. Given the factors at play I believe the Royals made the best selection for their organization.
Also, given the way they were so high school heavy in the later rounds, I think it is apparent that they are committed to the first wave as is, and have now begun the process of focusing on that second wave. Given the work the team has done in Latin America and through the draft in the later rounds, they are already way ahead of where they were four years ago when they first began work on the first wave.
The other major story for the Royals over the last month was the promotion of Mike Moustakas. Moustakas's season line may not have been screaming domination, but over the last month and a half he caught fire. The promotion was warranted, and it is just the latest move that helps to put the Royals into serious contention in 2012.
Going into the season the Royals needed to get Hosmer and Moustakas as many big league at bats as possible in order to allow them to be ready to hit the ground running in 2012. By promoting these two players when they did I believe they will have successfully accomplished this goal.