Entering this season, there was a lot of optimism surrounding the Kansas City Royals. With James Shields ready to front their rotation, many thought that Kansas City was ready to compete in the American League Central. Thus far, that has not been the case, as the team has gone 8-22 since a 14-10 first month. Ranked ninth in the ESPN Power Rankings in early May, the team has declined steadily, and this week finds itself ranked a lowly 24th. General manager Dayton Moore has stressed patience before, but if the team can't pull out of its tailspin in the next month or so, it will be time to pull the plug on the Moore era in K.C.
The problem has been the pitching. Shields, acquired in one of the most talked-about transactions of the offseason from the Tampa Bay Rays, has certainly lived up to his billing. He has been Kansas City's best pitcher since Zack Greinke, but it hasn't made any difference. Last year, they posted a 100 FIP- that ranked 17th overall. This year, the team has posted a 103 FIP- that ranks 17th overall.