This will be a brief article and I'll let the powers of impotence do the talking for me.
It's Friday night and the Royals are currently down 2-1 to the Detroit Tigers. They aren't out of this game by any means, but my research shows that they'll need to score another run to at least tie the game and likely two more runs to win.
In other contemporary calculations, the Royals are also 5.5 games back of the Detroit Tigers for first place in the AL Central. Perhaps more importantly, they are 1.5 games back of the Mariners for the second Wild Card. I think we can likely rule out winning the division, but I think as of right now a shot at a 50-50 game against the Angels, which is likely less than 50-50 odds against KC, is what this team could realistically achieve.
In my final attempt to wow you with numbers, the Royals have, as of this writing, eight players with negative value on the offensive side of the ball.
That's eight players totaling -3.4 fWAR. 3.4 wins is 63% of the difference between the Royals and Tigers for first place in the AL Central.
The Royals are again 1.5 games back of Seattle for the 2nd Wild Card. If the Royals don't play Raul Ibanez for EIGHT games and Justin Maxwell for TWENTY games then the Royals are tied with the Mariners for that Wild Card.
Louis Coleman has been with -0.5 fWAR himself. Don't let him pitch for 21 innings and the Royals have the Wild Card.
It's hard to ask for a team to field an above average player at every position, but it should't be too much to ask for a team to field even replacement level players in crucial spots like the outfield. That's the idea of replacement level players: they are readily available talent.
Raul Ibanez has done more damage in eight games than Daniel Murphy has done in eighty games.
Worst outfield combo's
|Justin Maxwell and Raul Ibanez||Royals||-1.6||28|
|Cody Ross and Gerrado Parra||Diamondbacks||-1.8||151|
|Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Beltran||Yankees||-1.9||128|
|Tony Gwynn Jr and Dom Brown||Phillies||-1.9||151|
|The Entire Twins Outfield||Twins||-2.9||201|
Maxwell and Ibanez combined are two of the worst pair of outfielders in baseball, and they've achieved that feat in only 28 games.