Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 3/13/13
What else can baseball fans do in January but dream of October? In You May Say I'm a Dreamer, the Outside Corner staff will imagine the route to a World Series in 2013 title for all 30 teams. After an offseason where Dayton Moore went all-in, the Royals made their general manager look like a genius by winning the World Series. Kansas City's first title in 28 years was long-awaited and a little unexpected, given the amount of grief Moore took this winter. The revamped Royals rotation did what Moore expected it to do and carried the team to new heights. James Shields threw 233 innings with a 3.13 ERA, striking out 220 and walking just 50 to pace the rotation and finish second in AL Cy Young voting behind division rival Justin Verlander. Wade Davis' transition back to the rotation went pretty well after a 181 inning, 3.48 ERA season. Ervin Santana got his homer issues under control at Kauffman Stadium, and posted a 3.84 ERA in 190 innings. With those three at the top of the order, disappointing years from Jeremy Guthrie and Bruce Chen were a lot easier to swallow for Kansas City. The Royals bullpen did an awesome job too, but that was expected after the way they pitched in 2012. Closer Greg Holland struck out 86 hitters in 61 innings and saved 33 games. His primary setup man Kelvin Herrera struck out 72 hitters in 70 innings, and his 1.41 ERA helped Holland breathe a lot easier finishing off games. Aaron Crow struck out 76 hitters in 69 innings, while the diminuitive Tim Collins struck out 80 in 71 innings. With strikeout potential like that at the end of games, it's no wonder that the Royals only blew six saves as a team all season. But the lineup is where Kansas City really shined. First baseman Eric Hosmer rebounded from a disappointing 2012 by hitting 31 homers and OPSing .841 after a strong performance in the World Baseball Classic. Third baseman Mike Moustakas only posted a .795 OPS, but hit 28 homers of his own across the diamond from Hosmer. Behind the plate, Sal Perez hit .330 to lead all catchers across baseball. Left fielder Alex Gordon won another Gold Glove and put together a 20/20 season, finally realizing his potential on a full-time basis. Finally, right fielder Jeff Francoeur hit 21 homers, but his horrendous plate discipline still resulted in just a .732 OPS for Kansas City. The Royals would finish with 91 wins and a wild card slot in the American League. In the wild card playoff game, Kansas City would knock off the Rays to gain the upper hand on their trade this past winter. The Royals faced off with the AL West champion Angels in the ALDS, and won in five games thanks in large part to an excellent performance by Santana in game four of the series and a shutdown performance from Davis in game five. Kansas City took on the Tigers in the ALCS and won in five games, thanks in large part to Shields outdueling Verlander twice with everything on the line. Finally in the World Series, the Royals took on their geographic rival, the St Louis Cardinals, and won the title in six games. It wasn't the easiest route to the championship, but Dayton Moore's master plan has finally come to fruition, and the Royals are champions. Royals on TOC End of Season Postmortem 2013 Season Preview You May Say I'm a Dreamer 2013 Burning Question (1:30 PM) This Is My Nightmare (3:00 PM) 2013 X-Factor (4:30 PM) [follow]
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