1. Big Game James
Now before you yell out "we had James Shields last year and won 86 games!" let me stop you. You're right we had Shields last year, but we didn't have contract year Shields! And according to Flanagan the idea of being rich will be just the extra motivate that Shields needs to take his game to the next level in 2014. You think James Shields is good now, just wait until he's throwing changeups so good, dollar bills start streaming from his pockets!
2. Filling the Black Holes
Flanagan says it all in his first sentence "it's not like the Royals acquired a couple of Hall of Famers to fill the holes of second base and right field, but it sure feels like it."
Hell yeah it does! And when you feel like something is true, in virtually every circumstance it proves to be true. If Omar Infante and Nori Aoki don't play like Rogers Hornsby and Babe Ruth, I'll be damned.
3. Alex Gordon
Flanagan points to Gordon's new found security of hitting consistently in the heart of the order as a reason to expect big things for Gordon in 2014. Never mind the fact that Gordon his lead off in over 75% of his games last season. Also, let's ignore the fact that Gordon is entering his age 30 season and is coming off a year in which he posted the worst walk rate of his career and struck out in over 20% of his at bats. All the while seeing his line drive percentage drop to his lowest mark since 2009.
4. The Vargas Addition
Flanagan opens this one with "it's kind of a tough sell to believe that left-hander Jason Vargas simply will step into the rotation and fill the void left by the Royals' decision not to sign Ervin Santana."
That's true, but as Flanagan reminds us many didn't expect Santana to be so good last year. This is an excellent report by the Fox Sports reporter. If an Angels cast off was good last year, then it is a given that another one would be a good addition for 2014.
Vargas could very well be a strong addition to the Royals 2014 rotation, but let's not act like just because it worked with Santana, it is going to work again with the former Angel and Mariner.
5. Closing the Gap on the Tigers
Flanny's got a hunch and he says there's a chance the Tigers slip a notch this season.
There you have it Royals fans! Rest at ease the Royals are postseason bound!
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