Royal Ups and Downs: Rained Out Edition

Ed Zurga

The latest installment in the hit series that chronicles the Ups and Downs of the Royals roster.

Stupid old rain, depriving the Royals of a chance to get back to the coveted .500 mark. At 31-32 at the beginning of June, it would really be nice if the Royals would stop revving the engine with the car in neutral. But what with the way the hitting's been this year, it's also sort of remarkable that they're not worse off. The Yankees series has been relatively fun, at least, it just feels like we're forever doomed to watching a pretty good pitching staff be offset by a unit that generally can't hit its way out of a paper bag.

Put that way, maybe the extra day is a good thing. At least we can say that it means one less game where we all have to pretend to like Derek Jeter, too. Onto the Position Player Ups and Downs for the beginning of June, and let's hope we actually have some ups somewhere in here.

Norichika Aoki - RF - Kablooey_medium

Is right field at the K built over a burial ground? Aoki's been flat-lining, and he's down to .259/318/.311. That triple slash doesn't keep you employed as a starting outfield in center for a lot of teams, let alone a corner. He's doing the typical Royals thing of pounding the ball into the dirt, as two-thirds of his balls in play are grounders, and it hasn't been effective. He's not suffering from a BABIP curse either, as his .290 is only five points below what he put up last season.

Oh, and because this is Kansas City, he's yet to homer.

Omar Infante - 2B - Kablooey_medium

4-for-31 with a walk since the beginning of June, and yet he's much less of a concern than some others. Infante's been popping up more than usual, I guess, but he's also been raking around his usual LD% (around 21% right now) and the BABIP fairy has cursed him to a non-corresponding .244 average on balls in play. Infante's results lately haven't been pretty, but I don't think the process is broken.

Alcides Escobar - SS - Nope_medium

.277/.318/.388 is a pretty fair representation of Escobar's abilities as a hitter. As bad as he was last year with the bat, I do expect him to settle in around this level. Throw in his defensive contributions (even if you don't love him there, he plays a premium position pretty solidly at least), and this level of hitting puts him officially in "not the problem" territory.

Eric Hosmer - 1B - Kablooey_medium

Sinking to frustrating levels again, and it's now June 10th. With any luck, this is just another long episode of "waiting for Hoz to get started" and not a sign of terribad hitting to come. Fangraphs has him as below replacement level this season, and it's not hard to see why: he isn't hitting the ball out, his walk rate is down, he isn't hitting many line drives, and there aren't too many believers in his defensive abilities. His .302/.353/448 from last year, which we all were hoping he could build on, seems miles away at the moment.

Billy Butler - DH - Nope_medium

It's starting to get worrisome, at least for me, that Butler still hasn't really come around. He's had less hitless games of yet, but we're still talking about a DH with an OPS of 616. That's not going to get it done, so here's hoping he finds his power sooner or later. This is the Royals, and they're handling a hitter in the worst slump of his career, so temper your expectations.

Alex Gordon - LF - Up_medium

Dare I say that Gordon looks a little bit more like himself, for the first time in a while? Nah, I'll just say that he's hit well of late, up to a whopping six home runs and a totally awesome (really) .376 OBP. It's not like last season was bad, but it'd be super nice to Alex continue at level that's more 2012ish, and all his indicators appear to be going in the right direction.

Salvador Perez - C - Up_medium

Perez has been on an average-fueled surge since June hit, and his OPS for month is currently over 900. Whereever that's coming from, there's no way that it isn't pretty awesome to have a stretch like that come from your catcher. His longball against the Yankees the other night was a thing of beauty, as well. This stretch was indeed somewhat offset by a relatively flat performance at the end of May, but his hitting line's gone up so Salvy grabs the green.

Lorenzo Cain -  CF - Up_medium

I admit I sort of like Lorenzo Cain's annual first two month routine a little better than Eric Hosmer's. Cain's on a roll, and it's completely batting average driven. Still, it's impossible not to have fun watching a guy surge to something ridiculous like the .331 figure that Lorenzo's currently sitting at. A .400ish BABIP isn't sustainable, but a solid level of hitting with Cain's defense (if he can stay healthy) is a pretty neat player.

Mike Moustakas - 3B - Kablooey_medium

I'm not even really sure what to say about Moustakas anymore, so I'm now taking suggestion for What Should I Replace Mike Moustakas's Player Comments With Until A Time Where He Becomes Good Again? Last year I did music videos for Chris Getz player comments. I'm thinking maybe we can fill up this space with Oscar Wilde quotes or something. Let me know in the comments.

Brett Hayes - C - Up_medium

He got some hits!

Jarrod Dyson - OF - Nope_medium

Dyson's OBP has come up, his defense has been good, but he's slugging .300 so I don't think he's really earned the green arrow. Nonetheless, he's generally doing the things that make him a nice player to have around. He's got a decent walk rate, can swipe a bag, and play defense. I'm not saying that he should be a starter, but it's sort of hilarious in a way that the Royals constantly manage to find starter RFers that compare unfavorably to Dyson in one way or another. Or ten.

Pedro Ciriaco - IF - Kablooey_medium

You know all the nice things I just said about Dyson as a utility outfielder? I don't really have anything nice to say about Pedrio Ciriaco as a utility infielder. But we'll use the Thumper's Parents Principle and call it good for the week.

~

The Royals will hopefully be back in action tonight at the K against the Cleveland Racists Native Americans Indians, with another chance to reach the small victories mark. Don't forget to weigh in on the Moustakas player comments question, and i hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday.

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