Sideline Report: A blazing hot start shows promise for the Royals’ 2015 campaign

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The 2014 American League champions have started out the season very strangely. They have gotten off to such a hot start, the best since 2003 (9-0). The Kansas City Royals  historically haven’t been known to be great offensive team, ranking dead last in Major League Baseball in home runs and walks last season. They also, quite frankly, don’t start off seasons very well in general. But this years’ team these aren’t the typical Royals. Coming off of last year’s insane run to the World Series, the Royals finally know how to win.

The Royals are currently sitting at 7-0, with great performances from outfielder Lorenzo Cain (.407 batting average), catcher Salvador Perez (.414), third baseman Mike Moustakas (.360), designated hitter Kendrys Morales (.414) and shortstop Alcides Escobar (.367) thus far. They are winning because the dominant defense and speed is still there and they are finally hitting home runs. Perez already has three and the team is averaging 7.4 runs a game. Box scores are lighting up and an unusual flurry of hits is giving this team a new swagger. Even role players like Paulo Orlando are adding to the hits with three triples in his first three Major League at-bats. Everyone is playing their part in making this offense look nothing short of spectacular.

Offense isn’t the only thing that wins ballgames, but also defense and pitching. Cain himself has already made one of the best catches of the year, along with the team making less flashy, but effective defensive stops when need be. Each position player knows their role and performs at a high level when called upon. This team works together to achieve greatness and look like that team that went 8-0 heading into the World Series last year. It’s exciting to watch as all of these elements come together to create a winning formula. The return of Kansas City baseball is such a glorious sight.

Yes, this is only seven games. These statistics put up by the players are not anywhere near sustainable, but if one player could have a breakout season, more October baseball is to come. The loss of James Shields definitely changed this team, from his leadership to his 200+ innings pitched; but there are plenty of talented ballplayers in this organization from the Cain’s and Perez’s to quality starters in Yordano Ventura and Edinson Volquez. Three-time Gold Glove winner outfielder Alex Gordon always put up solid numbers. This young team finally has playoff experience and might be able to get the job done this year and take home a World Series title.

I have great expectations for these Royals. I expect the bullpen to continue the be the best in baseball, led by HDH (Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland). The defense should be elite with one of the best outfields in baseball and arguably the game’s best catcher. This team has shown it can do great things and will contend for a division title this year. Many counted the Royals out before the season, saying it was a race between the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians for the AL Central. But now the Royals are coming out, guns blazing, ready to dethrone the Tigers and make even more noise in the postseason. This will be a great season for the Royals and I just can’t wait for another Blue October.

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