Maybe it has just become a cliche response from the front office. They've been claiming the club has been trying to win ball games the last few seasons. Yet, each of the last few seasons, they've lost more games than they've won.
But this season seemed different. Dayton Moore had been aggressive in acquiring veteran talent in the offseason and the Royals started this season off with the best record in baseball. The team finally seemed competitive for the first time since 2017. But, the Royals are currently 17-30 over their last 47 games.
Dayton Moore had spoke about Tampa Bay's recent success this offseason. "They’re very transactional. They’re more transactional than we are. I’ve been criticized for that many times, that we stay for players a little too long. Sometimes it works out great. Sometimes it doesn’t. We’re one of the least transactional organizations in baseball."
Moore unfortunately has been anything but transactional this season. If anything, he's stayed committed to certain players for far too long this season and it's costing this team
Which brings us to the struggles of Hunter Dozier, Jorge Soler and Brad Keller. Each of these three have had quite a bit of success in the past but are currently having seasons that would qualify as among the worst in this club's history.
Lowest batting average
(Min. 100 PA)
Chris Owings (2019) - .133
(Min. 200 PA)
Hunter Dozier (2021) - .156
(Min. 300 PA)
Ryan O'Hearn (2019) - .195
(Min. 400 PA)
Brandon Moss (2017) - .207
(Min. 500 PA)
Alex Gordon (2017) - .208
Hunter Dozier currently has the franchise record for lowest batting average, in a single season, among players with at least 200 plate appearances. Jorge Soler is 39 plate appearances away from having the lowest batting average among hitters with at least 300 plate appearances. Two historically bad seasons. Which has become a reoccurring issue these last few years under Moore.
Only four hitters in Royals' history have finished a season hitting below .200 with a minimum of 200 plate appearances. Those four are Bob Hamelin, Tony Pena Jr, Ryan O'Hearn and Harmon Killebrew. Hunter Dozier and Jorge Soler would make six, with four having occurred under Moore.
As for Brad Keller, he's on pace to become only the ninth pitcher in Royals' history to throw at least 100 IP and finish the season with an ERA above 6.00. He would be the sixth pitcher to reach this feat in the Moore era.
The Royals have stayed committed to giving playing time to Hunter Dozier, Jorge Soler and Brad Keller. Even when it's costing this team vital wins. The question now is whether the new ownership will be willing to make that same some sort of commitment in the face of poor performance.