Saturday, February 13, 2016

World Series Champion Royals Set To Win in 2016 | Twins Will Be A Close Second

Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals will begin their 2016 Spring Training with a title they have not had in a long time. They are now the defending World Series champions. In fact, they would be two time defending World Series champions with one swing of the bat, or had Mike Jirschele waved Alex Gordon around third. Still, they are the defending World Series champions, so there is no need to dwell on what might have been.

The Royals enter 2016 with pretty much the same roster they won the World Series with, minus Ben Zobrist and Johnny Cueto, who have moved on to the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants. They signed Ian Kennedy to replace Johnny Cueto in the rotation. Kennedy provides them with something they so desperately need in the rotation, an “innings eater” who can take some stress off of their overused bullpen. Yes, their bullpen the best in the game, but they have relied upon it almost too much in the last two seasons. That does need to change this season. They need more out of Edison Volquez and Chris Young. They also need Yordano Ventura to finally step up and become the ace Royals fans know he can be.

There are a few questions to answer during Spring Training. First, can Tim Holland win his job back? Holland was one of the best in the game for a while there, but a poor stretch of play cost him his closer job to Wade Davis late last season. Davis enters as the default closer, but if Holland spends his time wisely in the coming months, he can find a way to get his job back. The next question is who will win the backup catching job? That is a two horse race between former St. Louis Cardinal Tony Cruz and Drew Butera from the Twins. I say Butera keeps his job. They Royals also have a lot of outfield decisions to make. They already have Alex Gordon, Jarrod Dyson, and Lorenzo Cain in their outfield as establish players. But they also have young talent in Terrance Gore, and he’s itching for playing time. The Royals “mega-prospect” Bubba Starling is also coming along.

Twins Might Upset Royals In 2016

Perhaps the biggest challenge to the Royals, if they are to win the American League Central again in 2016, will be taking down the Minnesota Twins. Minnesota is working on a long rebuild at the moment. The good news is they won't have to wait long to get the party started.  The Twins take on the Royals in the second series of the season, on April 8th.  Also down, but not out, are the Detroit Tigers. The Royals play the Tigers for the first time in 2016, beginning April 19 for a three game series at home. The Royals will hook up with the Cleveland Indians for the first time in 2016 on May 6th for a three-game stint on the road. To round out the American League Central head to head matchups, the Royals travel to Chicago to take on the White Sox for a three game series beginning May 20th.

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