In the various season reviews of the just completed Royals season, I have not seen a proper accounting for all of the injuries. The Royals had an almost historic run of injuries that decimated the team. While too many to list them all, I have picked the 5 worst injuries. It would be impossible for next year to be as bad on the injury front, so there is true hope for next year being a much better year.
The 5 worst injuries of 2012 for the Kansas City Royals:
5. Closer: The injury to Joakim Soria was heartbreaking. A young club that struggles to win needs a proven veteran closer like Soria. Over the previous 5 years Joakim averaged 37 saves per season. How is a team like the Royals going to replace that? Just imagine what 37 more wins would have meant. The bullpen depth was so affected that even Mitch Maier had to pitch in a game.
4. First Base, Third Base: Losing both Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer to injury was a cruel twist of fate to a young team trying to develop talent like the Royals. When looking at the Royals season one can only ask "What If". What if both Mike and Eric could have played the whole season? How many teams could withstand losing their starting first and third basemen?
3. Starting Pitcher: Luke Hochevar's injury situation was also bad news for the Royals. I know, you may be thinking that he wasn't injured, and that is my point. Every fifth day, no matter the situation, Luke was ready to take the mound and give up his five and half runs that game. Now, I wouldn't want to wish actual physical harm on anybody, including Luke, but couldn't the Royals have put him on the DL with a "tired arm"? Or, perhaps a 30 day stint on the DL with mental fatigue or a 60 day stint with the dreaded pulled Oplakia muscle. But alas, it was not meant to be. Luke's continued pitching was a thorn in the Royals side all year long.
2. Right Field: Uber-prospect Wil Myers' injury was also bad news for the Royals. With Wil tearing up the minor leagues and Jeff Francoeur's historic struggles, Wil's injury came at a very inopportune time. It would have been a perfect way to ease Jeff into a limited role while giving Myers valuable major league at bats. Intsead, Wil got injured, thus preventing the Royals from calling him up and therefore having to continue to play Francoeur.
1. Catcher: Without a doubt, the most devastating injury had to be the one to catcher. When Jason Kendall had to retire due to injury, it was like a punch to the gut. In fact, when I head the news I felt an immediate explosion of pain in the middle of my body. I collapsed like a rag doll to my knees; my head was swimming in pain, the world was going black and I felt like I was about to vomit. (Wait - that was what I felt when Jeff Francoeur gave me a nut tap - nevermind.) Anyway, it was a devastatingly devastating injury. With Kendall manning the catcher position 4 out of every 5 days the Royals would have had perhaps the best backup catcher in the league in Salvador Perez. But this was not meant to be either.
So, things are looking up for next year. Unless the game is somehow rigged, there is no way the Royals have as bad of luck next year. Next year is really shaping up to be Our Time.