The Indians return to Cleveland tonight for their penultimate series of the season: a three-game set against the Kansas City Royals. So I talked to Kings of Kauffman‘s Mike Vamosi about the Royals’ 2012 season, what to expect from them this winter, and when Kansas City will get back to the playoffs.
- With just a week left in the season, it looks like the Royals will finish with a win total in the low 70′s. Is that about what you expected from them this year?
I didn’t put down a win total before the season (wish I had) but in my mind before the spring training injuries I thought .500 was possible. After the injuries to Salvador Perez, Joakim Soria and others I thought mid-70′s was possible for the club but its still disappointing how the season has gone.
It seems like we’ve been hearing for years that Kansas City was a team on the rise. How do you expect the Royals to do next year? When will they be back in the playoffs?
I must admit hearing that your team has some of the best talent in the minors raises your hopes but to not see it turn into a playoff appearance just yet has been frustrating. Next year I think they hit .500 with 2014 being the likely playoff year, David Glass, the Royals owner, said he is committed to opening the pay roll up next season which is good since the team needs pitching. Largely the position players and bullpen are set but starting pitching needs to be addressed this offseason.
- How different will this team look when we first play Kansas City next year? Who do you expect will be gone and what new faces do you think we’ll see?
Who you’ll see this weekend in the field will likely be back next season in some way shape or form. KC needs to figure out who their second basemen is. Our center fielder Lorenzo Cain is out with injury, Jeff Francoeur will still be in right until the team frees Wil Meyers from Omaha.
Sunday, you saw Jake Odorizzi, who should be in the rotation which will probably have the biggest turnover. Odorizzi has been in Triple-A most of the season. Felipe Paulino and Danny Duffy plus Soria will be back next season but probably around June or July.
- Give us a quick scouting report on the pitchers the Indians will see this weekend.
Friday night, lefty Will Smith will be on the mound and I’ve been impressed with the progress he’s made from start one to the present and don’t let a 6-8 record fool you he does have a two-hit win at Anaheim. Odorizzi will throw on Saturday and he has been compared to a poor man’s Zack Greinke in a KC Star article recently, lot of offspeed stuff. Sunday, Luke Hochevar will get the start and honestly who knows what you’ll get with him because he has pitched good and poorly throughout his career.
- What’s your prediction for the series?
After a four-game sweep in Detroit you’d think I’d be down but I think the Royals take 2-of-3 or sweep the Tribe even if Cleveland plays much better at the house formally known as the Jake. Expect Cleveland to play hard for Sandy but KC has won 7-of-8 against the Indians which I think continues this weekend.