The Royals will look to have different results with this 10 game homestand. The first homestand of the season ended with a miserable record of 0-10. If the Royals would have avoided the major skid, the teams record would be over .500. The team starts the homestand with a 3 game series against the division leading Chicago White Sox. In game one Bruce Chen continued in his slump that is destroying his ERA. Before the month of July, Bruce’s ERA was 4.5 and after his last three starts it jumped to 5.5. Luis Mendoza now leads the starting rotation with a 4.5 ERA.
The Roylas lost 9-8 in the first game of the series against the White Sox. In the gameBruce Chen struggled to get through 4.2 innings. Chen gave up 3 runs in the first innings and could not find his control walking three hitters. Chen totalled 110 pitches in the short start. Hitters seemed to comfortable in the batters box. Lorenzo Cain was the bright spot in the game. In his debut, Cain went 3-6 with a double and a RBI. Having Lorenzo Cain back in the lineup will add a major boost to the productivity. Mike Moustakas homered in the second inning off of Quintana.
Alcides Escobar was the clear MVP of the second game. Escobar clubbed two homeruns, his 4th of the year. This was Escobar’s first multi homer game of his career. The Royals shortstop now leads the majors for shortstops in batting average and OPS with .311 and .791. Along with Escobar, Chris Getz went 2-3 with a double. Francoeur, Moustakas, and Butler each added 2 hits. Luke Hochaver pitched a solid 5 innings giving up 3 runs. Greg Holland was the winning pitcher with Jonathan Broxton notching his 22 save. Crow and Mijares also got work in the game combining for 1.2 innings.
The Royals will be facing dominate Chris Sale in the third and final game of the series. Sale has been lights out with a record of 10-2 and a 2.19 ERA. Sale, an All Star, pitched 5 innings giving up 3 runs against the Royals on May 12. The Royals gave Sale his second loss of the season. Ned Yost and the Royals will be led by Luis Mendoza. Mendoza faced the White Sox last on May 13 and gave up 1 run in 5.2 innings of work. He recorded his second win of the season that game. Mendoza is currently 3-5 with a 4.5 ERA.
The Kansas City Royals announced that the club has reached an agreement on a multi-year contract with Alcides Escobar. The contract starts with four guaranteed years through the 2015 season, then club options for the following two seasons: 2016 and 2017. The contract is designed to pay him $1 million this year and $3 million in each of the years 2013-14-15. The club options are for $5.25 million in 2016 with a $500,000 buyout and $6.5 million in 2017 with a $500,000 buyout.
The 25-year-old Escobar had his first season with the Royals in 2011 after being obtained in a six-player trade with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010. The defensive standout tied for the Major League lead with playing in 158 games at shortstop with 459 assists and 271 putouts. The defensive minded Escobar had a .254 batting average with 21 doubles, 8 triples, 4 home runs. In addition, he set his career-best 26 stolen bases, becoming the fourth shortstop in Royals history to steal 20+ bases in a season. He started extremely slow with the bat last year but turned his fate over in the later half. Escobar hit .286 from June 7 through the remainder of the season. Escobar has worked extremely hard this offseason to improve on his average. He will never hit .300 but if the average can get around .280 he and the Royals will be thrilled. When watching Escobar, one can not love how he carries himself. He displays knowledge and love for the game with his glove and determination with his bat. One great aspect to the signing of Escobar is that he has proven his durability.
Now that Escobar has been inked for the future, the Royals currently turn their attention to the injury of newly signed Salvador Perez. Perez partially tore his meniscus. He is expected to be out for 12-14 weeks. He may be held out until the All-Star Break. This injury brings cringes to any former catcher because they realize how important a catchers knees are. The Royals will be slow with pushing the return of Perez. Expect to see Brayan Pena more then planned to give Perez’s knees a break throughout the season. Furthermore, Dayton Moore has been looking around through free agency for a catcher. A possible candidate is Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. Pudge hit only .218 with 2 home runs. Another possible but unlikely option would be Jason Varitek What he does bring is excellent leadership and tremendous defense. There are other options to fill Perez’s shoes but for now Pena is the answer.
While fans want Eric Hosmer to be the next Royals signed to a long-term deal, I expect Alex Gordon to be next on the list because of the numbers he managed to put up last year. The two sides have tried to find a suitable contract this past offseason but were unable to meet each others wants.