It’s Memorial Day Weekend!
I love Memorial Day weekend and especially the day itself. It’s as important to me as Independence Day. The Fourth of July is celebrated more with fireworks and family gatherings, but I rank Memorial Day right up there with it.
You might hear people thank all of those who are serving in the military this weekend. And I get it. They are very important. But Memorial Day is to honor those who have died fighting for our country. I’m amazed that someone would be willing to lay down their life for my freedom.
So have a great weekend! Enjoy time with your family if you get the chance. If you know someone who had a relative die in action, tell them thank you for what their relative did for us.
Tampa Bay Rays 7, Kansas City Royals 2 (Game Analysis)
7:10pm – MLB – Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins (BSKC)
STATE OF THE OUTFIELD
Watching Jorge Soler play right field recently because of Salvador Perez’s groin injury made me think about the state of the outfield as a whole.
Let’s start with the good. Andrew Benintendi is about the best thing going offensively for the Royals. After struggling in April in his first month with the club, Benintendi has been on fire in May. In May, he is hitting .341 with an .839 OPS when I am writing this.
Benintendi is playing good defense as well. He’s not quite Alex Gordon in the outfield, but he has been solid.
Michael Taylor is holding down center field, and he hasn’t been anything spectacular. He started incredibly hot this season. The impression a lot of people have is that he’s doing great because of that. But he’s not. He’s hitting just .246. His on-base percentage is just .293. And although his defense has been good, there have been several plays that he hasn’t made, which a Royals center fielder needs to make. For example, he jumped too soon for a ball in the gap Thursday night in Tampa Bay. I mean. He was there. He just mistimed his jump. Michael Taylor is on a one-year, $1.75 million contract. He’s cheap, but he is not the long-term answer. The farm system has to come through.
Right field was Kyle Isbel’s job coming out of Spring Training, but that didn’t work out. So it’s been a bunch of guys filling since Isbel was sent down. Recently, with Salvador Perez’s injury, it’s been Jorge Soler there, so let’s talk Soler.
Jorge Soler has been terrible in every aspect of the game. He’s hitting .171 with a .564 OPS. Just throw him a breaking ball and watch him lunge after it as he comes nowhere near hitting it.
And on defense? Oh my goodness. It gets worse. Did you see him play right field Thursday? Soler caught the fly ball flat-footed with a runner at third base and made a terrible throw home that had to be cut off.
It would take a miracle turnaround this year to even start considering making a qualifying offer to Soler.
At this point, the only other outfielder you could turn to is Jarrod Dyson. Dyson is a fan favorite from his time on the World Series teams of late, but you don’t want Dyson playing every day at this point in his career.
There is a lot of work to do with the outfield. Right now, only Benintendi is worth keeping. The Royals have one more season of control of him before he becomes a free agent. It’s too soon to consider a contract extension, but if he is still playing like this in August or September, the Royals might want to consider a multi-year deal if he has any interest.
Part of the problem could go away when the Royals promote Bobby Witt Jr. At that time, I would expect Witt to play third and Hunter Dozier to go to right. The outfield becomes better when that happens. But when will it happen?
NOTES: Kansas will participate in the 2022 Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. Other teams involved will be Butler, BYU, Dayton, NC State, Tennessee, US. and Wisconsin.
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Thanks for reading…