It is undeniable that the start to the season has been disappointing. However, judging by the response of some of the posters on the site (even a few regular posters) it seems that it might be in order to take a deep breath and remember this is baseball. Crazy things happen in nine game stretches, and the last four games are relatively easily explained.
The last loss in Oakland was certainly frustrating, but closers blow saves all the time. Even the good closers. Now, good closers might not walk two batters then hit two more, but good closers do struggle with their command from time to time. Other reports on Broxton seem to be positive and that his velocity might even be back up. I don't think that that one inning ought to color someone's expectations of Broxton for the rest of the year. To let it do so would not be rational.
The first loss to Cleveland can largely be chalked up to bad luck. There were a couple of defensive miscues, but Hochevar didn't really pitch all that poorly. There is no reason to think that Hochevar can't post an ERA around 3.50 the rest of the way. His peripherals from the second half of the year last year would seem to support it, and he didn't really do anything Friday to change that expectation.
Now, the next two losses are a little disappointing. They did show that the lineup can actually hit a little bit, but unfortunately, I don't think Sanchez or Mendoza are going to be very good Major League pitchers at any point this year (or ever). However, we probably knew that coming into the season if we were being honest with ourselves. The good news is that hopefully Paulino will be back soon, spelling the end of Mendoza. Paulino has a career xFIP around 4.00 and is a solid Major League starter.
The Royals' offense could be pretty good this year, and the bullpen will likely be one of the best in the league. I'm not really sure how the defense will fare, but I don't think it will be a big weak spot overall. The real question mark is the rotation, and there is reason to believe that Duffy, Chen, Hochevar, and Paulino could collectively post an ERA in the high 3's without an incredible amount of luck. The fifth starter slot is likely to suck pretty bad, and an injury to one of the other four will only make the matter worse (see what is happening with Mendoza). All in all, the Royals should have a decent chance to win most days. A season around .500 is not a ridiculous expectation.
Losing three games to the Indians this weekend doesn't change that in any meaningful way.
Obligatory Poll: Is all lost?
No (24 votes)
24 total votes