With the Tigers opening up the season in Kansas City on Monday, I thought I'd take the opportunity to ask fellow SB Nation blogger Will MacDonald of Royals Review a bit about the Royals and how he thinks the AL Central Division will turn out. He asked me a few questions, too, and I'll update you on where to find the answers as soon as he posts them!
KM: First off: You don't seem to be too big on the Tigers in your season preview. Actually, you write they are similar to the Royals, which is actually The only team you're more pessimistic about. Can you tell us a bit about your thinking there?
WM: Both teams have decent pitching and weaker lineups. You've got Greinke and Verlander atop the staffs, followed by a lower tier of pitchers, followed by a a lot of questions. The Tigers have a better staff overall, as I'd take Porcello and Scherzer over Meche/Bannister/Hochevar. But its pretty close when we're talking about 2010 only. The lineups are comparable. The Tigers need the old guys to hit again and stay healthy, and they need fellas like Jackson and Sizemore to emerge. Do those two things usually both happen? Seems like a lot to hope for. Again, Tigers are better, but the gap isn't as huge as you'd like it to be if you are a Tigers fan.
I see that the Royals have a few injury problems popping up already this season. Any chance of Kyle Farnsworth sliding in, in light of the injuries?
At the moment it doesn't look like it, but with the Royals, you never ever know. Its really difficult predicting what this organization will do from day to day.
I'm hoping that we'll see another good season from Billy Butler, as well as a comeback year from Alex Gordon. It's also fun having Joakim Soria around. If the Royals could merely replace half of their bottom 10 guys with players who were just average, it might be a decent roster.
Anyone in the farm system you guys are keeping a close eye on who could come up and help this season?
I don't know about this season. There's always the bullpen guys, but that's basically the situation with every team. All the team's stud prospects are multiple years away. 1B Kila Ka'aihue is probably the team's best option at DH, but is being sent to AAA.
Brian Anderson is going go try pitching?! That wasn't just some April Fools joke?
I don't understand this at all. Remember what I said about how its impossible to predict what will happen with the Royals? Brian Anderson is probably a better option in the outfield than either Scott Podsednik or Rick Ankiel or Jose Guillen or Willie Bloomquist. Yet the Royals have him below all those guys. (Despite signing him to a Major League contract early in the off-season.) Now, as a still young AAA/backup OF, he wants to start over and pitch? Really questionable decision that he should take a long weekend before pulling the trigger on. But it's the Royals, so it's probably true.
(editor's note: more on this from Will)
And probably the most important question of the day: What's the weather report look like Monday? It's been way too long since we've had a baseball game that counted. Gimme good news!
It looks like there will be a chance of thunderstorms, which would be really really horrible.
Thanks for your time today! Good luck to KC!