The Kansas City Royals and Melky Cabrera, as I am sure you have heard, are back together again. The switch hitting outfielder has rejoined the club he left after the 2011 season. That season is one many point to as the beginning of the change in Royals baseball, so it is fitting Melky comes back for the end of this run.
In 2011 Melky had 201 hits, and was in a trio of outfielders that each had at least 20 doubles. This trend of putting the ball in play, and making the defense make the plays was a hallmark of the postseason runs of 2014 and 2015, and one I believe GMDM thinks must be present if there is to be a 2017 run. 2011 also saw the emergence of a few of today's core players such as Eric Hosmer, Danny Duffy, Mike Moustakas, Kelvin Herrera, Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, and Salvador Perez. A rebuilding year in KC that saw the team lose 91 games. But it also saw some break out seasons. Alex Gordon hit .303 with a .502 slug, ending the year with a 7.2 WAR. Greg Holland had a 1.80 ERA in 60 innings of relief, and in Center Field Melky Cabrera posted 4.4 WAR, hitting .305 and legging out 44 doubles.
The Royals are hoping to regain some of that magic Cabrera brought to the team. It has been evident over the past few years that many of the Royals are still good friends with Cabrera. Often times Rex Hudler will show displeasure (which must be hard for him) when Eric Hosmer and Melky embrace at first base. Hosmer was so excited he took to twitter moments after the announcement of Melky returning to show his excitement for his brother coming home. This trends well for a team that time-and-time-again showed that chemistry in the club house is real, and creates wins.
Is this the Raul Ibanez moment for the 2017 team? I hope so. Currently we are 2 games back of the Indians, and tied for the lead in the wild card spot. So this team is actually in a slightly better position than the 2014 team. But will it be enough. I know there is magic in KC when it comes to the postseason. But this team still needs to use August and September to figure out some rolls, especially with the new faces. Like where will Melky play on a daily basis? Does this mean Jorge Bonifocio is now a bat off the bench? Will we platoon the DH roll based on pitching? And will Alex Gordon get a night off against tough lefties? That's just what questions need to be answered with Melky, don't get me started on the bullpen.
So in closing, Melky Cabrera is a great addition for this team, but how great? all I know is I hope the Melk-man can deliver one more deep post season run for Kansas City!
On Monday evening, news broke that the Royals had traded for pitchers Ryan Buchter, Trevor Cahill and Brandon Maurer. In acquiring those 3 arms, the Royals gave up Matt Strahm, Travis Wood and Minor Leaguer Esteury Ruiz to the San Diego Padres. Also included were ... Read more