This has to be Dayton Moore's worst nightmare. Or at the very least his worst-case scenario for the 2013 season.
Here we are, the last week of August, playing a makeup game for a game that was snowed out in May. This is not just any makeup game. It's a makeup game against the Tampa Bay Rays. You don't need me to remind you of how these teams are intertwined.
It's a worst-case scenario for Moore because of how the month has unfolded. The Royals are sputtering to the finish line. Seven games over .500 a week ago and on the periphery of the post season hunt, they lost seven in a row and ten of their last 13 to fall into the baseball purgatory of not good enough for October and not bad enough for a high draft pick.
Meanwhile, the Rays are rolling. Winners of eight of their last 10, they have closed the gap with the Red Sox in the AL East and are now just a half game behind.
Then there is the specter of one William Bradford Myers.
You know about Wil Myers, right? The prospect who was dealt to Tampa so the Royals could shore up their rotation with James Shields and Wade Davis? Just a prospect. No big deal when you can get proven major league talent in return.
About that. Myers is contributing big-time to the Tampa lineup, hitting anywhere from fourth to sixth in the order. Myers made his major league debut, the very game following the Royals visit to Tampa and to date he's hitting .306/.358/.478 with nine doubles and nine home runs. That's good for 132 wRC+ and a .359 wOBA. Both those would lead the Royals. Myers is also the current odds-on favorite to win the Rookie of the Year according to Bovada. Hurts, right?
If you want to feel a little better, know that Myers has been slumping of late. He's hitting just .216/.268/.314 since August 9. In that stretch he's lost almost 40 points off his OBP and over 50 points off his slugging percentage.
Myers has also been worth 2.0 in fWAR. For a quick and dirty comparison, Shields checks in with a 2.9 and Davis owns a 1.5 fWAR. That's cool until you realize the Royals are spending around $14 million for their total of 4.4 fWAR and the Rays are spending the major league minimum. And then realize that the Royals opened the season with Jeff Francoeur in right field and he stumbled his way to a -0.9 fWAR before the mercy release. Or perhaps... Never mind. There are many ways to parse this deal. None of them favorable for Dayton Moore and the Royals.
It would be better if somehow either James Shields or Wade Davis was pitching in this game. Sadly, I had the opportunity to witness another Davis shellacking on Saturday. Instead it will be Jeremy Guthrie. Sorry. Not as exciting.
Rays. Royals. Myers. There is no doubt the Baseball Gods brought the snow to Kansas City in May to torture us yet again. Curse you, Baseball Gods. Curse you for rubbing our noses in this. You are the worst. But if you could do something about Dayton and Ned, I'd be interested.