By promoting Eric Hosmer ahead of schedule, the Royals front office has let it be known that they are confident in Eric Hosmer, and confident in the 2011 Royals to play relevant, competitive baseball this season.
To date, the Royals are 18-17 and in a virtual tie with Detroit for 2nd place in the AL Central. The Royals are 5.5 games behind the surprising Indians, but it is the struggles of the Twins and White Sox that may signal a flickering hope for contention this season. The White Sox are just 14-23 (5 games behind the Royals) and the Twins are 12-22 (5.5 games behind the Royals).
If you assume that Cleveland will come back to earth and that the Royals can play .500 baseball, then, essentially you've setup a scenario in which the Royals are in the race. Time will tell. Vote on your confidence level after the jump.