Royals Baseball faces do-or-die situation
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
After a rebuild season last year, the Royals’ baseball team has continued to struggle on the field. Sitting with a conference record of 2–14, the Royals are quickly facing a situation where they need a miracle to qualify for the playoffs. With 8 games remaining, and them being 5 games behind the last playoff spot, the team needs to win 3/4 of their games and need their rivals to drop their games. Two losses for the Royals could spell the end of their season.
But how did it get to this point? Well, to be frank, it was a tough initial rebuild year for the team. Only 1/4 of their roster came back this year, and much of last year’s North division rosters remained similar. In short, this year may just as well be chalked up to being an0ther rebuild year.
It isn’t all doom and gloom, however. The team has had some bright spots this year, as well. Wyatt Versluis has emerged as a pitching phenom for the Royals. The pitcher initially started as a relief pitcher but forced his way into the starting rotation. His consistent performances have earned him a 3.12 ERA. Not to mention that he holds one of the Royals’ two wins. His pitching has been fantastic so far, and he could very well be a pitcher the team looks to next year.
Another pitcher in the limelight for the Royals is Alex Gibbons. Gibbons has been near flawless this season, pitching an ERA of 0.00 through three games. The relief pitcher has done his job perfectly so far this season. He could very well continue to be a key reliever, or see himself in the starters mound sometime soon. Either way, the rookie has surprised many and been a bright spot for the team so far.
In terms of batting, Rodney Gilbert has been the leader for the Royals. The sophomore has flashed his experience on the batting mound this year. The team’s infielder has lead the team batting average with a 0.318 and 14 hits on the season. Tyler Melenchuk has been the rookie batter who has risen through the ranks this year. His batting average of 0.242 is second only to Gilbert’s. As a batter who is often able to get some good contact, Melenchuk could very well be someone to keep your eyes on in the near future.
Overall, the team has a tough challenge ahead of them. Can they do it? It’s possible. But it’s going to be a gauntlet. With a series against Shoreline and Bellevue coming up, and the need to win 6 out of 8 of those games, the likelihood of the team pulling off this feat is small but it is there. Overall, it did feel like another rebuild year for the team. All they can do is put their chin down and focus on the road ahead.