2010 MLB Season Preview: Kansas City Royals

Taylor SmithAnalyst IMarch 31, 2010

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 14: American League All-Star Zack Greinke of Kansas City Royals looks on during the lineup before the 2009 MLB All-Star Game at Busch Stadium on July 14, 2009 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images

2009 regular season record: 65-97, Fifth place, AL Central

Major Offseason Acquisitions: Noel Arguelles (Cuba), Jason Kendall (OAK), Rick Ankiel (STL), Scott Podsednik (CWS), Josh Fields (CWS), Chris Getz (CWS)

Major Offseason Losses: Mark Teahen (CWS), Mike Jacobs (NYM), Miguel Olivo (COL), John Buck (TOR), Coco Crisp (OAK)

Projected Lineup (2009 stats): 

1. LF-Scott Podsednik (.304 BA, .353 OBP, 7 HR, 48 RBI, 30 SB)

2. CF-Rick Ankiel (.231 BA, .285 OBP, 11 HR, 38 RBI)

3. RF-David DeJesus (.281 BA, .347 OBP, 13 HR, 71 RBI)

4. 1B-Billy Butler (.301 BA, .362 OBP, 21 HR, 93 RBI)

5. DH-Jose Guillen (.242 BA, .314 OBP, 9 HR, 40 RBI)

6. 3B-Alex Gordon (.232 BA, .324 OBP, 6 HR, 22 RBI)

7. C-Jason Kendall (.231 BA, .331 OBP, 2 HR, 43 RBI)

8. SS-Yuniesky Betancourt (.245 BA, .274 OBP, 6 HR, 49 RBI)

9. 2B-Chris Getz (.261 BA, .324 OBP, 2 HR, 31 RBI)

Projected Starting Rotation/Closer (2009 stats):

1. RHP Zack Greinke (16-8, 2.16 ERA, 229.1 IP)

2. RHP Gil Meche (6-10, 5.09 ERA, 129 IP)

3. RHP Brian Bannister (7-12, 4.73 ERA, 154 IP)

4. RHP Kyle Davies (8-9, 5.27 ERA, 123 IP)

5. RHP Luke Hochevar (7-13, 6.55 ERA, 143 IP)

Closer: RHP Joakim Soria (2.21 ERA, 30 saves)

2010 outlook: Those ERA numbers tell you all you need to know about the 2009 Royals.

Outside of Zack Greinke (who won the AL Cy Young award), none of the KC starters were able to get anybody out all season long.

Fortunately, outside of the 31-year-old Gil Meche, the rotation is still fairly young, with plenty of room for improvement.

The most important acquisition of the offseason is certainly Cuban defector Noel Arguelles.

He's just 19, so he won't be appearing in the big leagues any time soon, but he reportedly possesses a solid change-up and curveball. 

He's also left-handed, which, as you can see, would make him unique amongst a starting staff completely comprised of right-handed pitchers.

The biggest major league pickup of the offseason was Scott Podsednik, who enjoyed a bounce-back year for the White Sox in 2009.

He should be proficient at reaching base, but the question is: who other than Billy Butler is going to be able to drive him in?

2010 Prediction: 63-99, Fifth place, AL Central

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