Kansas City Royals season starts alongside roster changes

The Kansas City Royals opening day was yesterday at Kauffman Stadium vs. the Chicago White Sox.

The Major League Baseball (MLB) season schedule consists of 162 games for each of the 30 teams in the American League (AL) and National League (NL), played over about six months. This totals to 2,430 games, plus the postseason.

“There is nothing that compares to the environment of going to a game. They are fun to watch on TV, too,” Duke Lichlyter (10) said.

The Royals, who finished fifth in the American League Central conference with a 58-104 record in the 2018 season, made changes to their roster over spring training. Spring training started Feb. 23 and ended March 24, which was just four days before their regular season starts. The Royals will play with the roster they have recently announced.

“I am most definitely rooting for Alex Gordon. He is, by far, the best player that they have ever had,” Phoenix Hogan (12) said.

The 35-year-old Alex Gordon is in the last year of the four season contract he signed in early 2016. The $72 Million dollar contract ends this year, sparking rumors that this may be his final season with the Royals, and the MLB all together.

“I sure hope he doesn’t bail. He may be old, but he still has as much game as a rookie,” Hogan said.

Royals Catcher Salvador Perez, who is in his ninth season, was sidelined with ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (UCL) damage to his right arm and underwent UCL reconstruction, or Tommy John surgery, which is a surgical procedure in which a healthy tendon extracted from an arm is used to replace an arms torn ligament. Most catchers who undergo Tommy John surgery usually require slightly less than the 14 months to heal, so he will miss the 2019 season.

The Royals’ plan without Perez is to go with three catchers on the roster. Catchers Cam Gallagher and Maibrys Viloria who were with the team last season, and newly signed catcher Martín Maldonado.

While much of the team may stay the same, Royals manager for nine years Ned Yost, who previously managed the Milwaukee Brewers, and played for the Brewers, Texas Rangers and the Montreal Expos, has signed a one year contract extension for the Royals in 2018, so 2019 may be his last season for coaching.

“I am very certain that they will make it to the end on top. Even though they are not my favorite team, they are the underdogs of the MLB, and they prove that the underdog can come out on top, as they have in 2015,” Nick Taylor (10) said.

After defeating the New York Mets in the World series, winning four out of five games in 2015, the Royals have been on a losing streak since then. With a total record of 219-267 since winning the World Series, many fans of the team still think they can go all the way to the championship as a team.

“I feel like no one player is better than the other or deserves more credit than the others. With them, it feels like they are just one big player that works fluently together. I am positive they will come out on top, no matter what,” Lichlyter said.