Club adds power, but rotation, bullpen are key to 2017
By Jeffrey Flanagan
With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Royals squad each day this week. Today's topic: What's the difference?
KANSAS CITY -- There is a growing narrative surrounding the 2017 Royals that the team is abandoning its foundation of speed and defense to transform into a more prototypical American League team, and that the big difference in this year's Royals will be more power.
There is some truth to that, but it is not as if the Royals have abandoned their core principles of speed and defense.
Sure, the Royals subtracted the speedy Jarrod Dyson and added slugger Jorge Soler in right field, giving them more pop at that spot since the days of Jermaine Dye.
But Royals general manager Dayton Moore, while acknowledging he'd like to see his team hit more home runs, insisted there have been no philosophical shifts in the organization: He still covets speed and defense.
Where fans will see the biggest change will be in the bullpen. It seems like only yesterday the Royals' vaunted bullpen featured shutdown relievers Wade Davis, Greg Holland, Luke Hochevar and Ryan Madson. They've all left by trade or free agency.