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Projecting Our 2022 Kansas City Royals to Mid-July


Both OOTP23 and MLB The Show 22 had delayed releases this year as each of the two arrived for public availability on April 22. By that time the 2022 MLB season had already begun and the 2022 Kansas City Royals had featured a record of 5-6 going into that evening's game in Seattle. I had the option with OOTP23 to start the season from scratch at 0-0 on Opening Day but I also had the option to take up the real records, statistics, and injuries through April 21 and then go from there. I chose Door Number Two through OOTP's LiveStart feature.

For about a month I simply followed the Royals' roster moves. If Piccolo demoted or promoted somebody, I did the same. If some Royals player got injured for the season like Mondesi, I set that to be the case.

Now we get to today, May 14. My "Royals" have the exact same roster and are struggling like the real team but they have managed so far to achieve two more wins than the real team. Six under .500 at this stage (eight in reality) is no cause to panic this early in the campaign so let us continue day by day with AI injuries allowed and AI development allowed and then as GM be forced to make my own roster decisions because of AI stuff happening.

First Blow: "Greinke" loses a month due to injury

My "Royals" at that point had two major flaws. One was being last in the league in scoring runs. Two was being last in the league in runs allowed by starting pitchers. Compared to the other guys in the rotation, "Zack" had been decent. I needed to do something if I wanted to try to get the team back to .500.

Solution: Shop "Carlos Santana" for a starting pitcher

"Nick Pratto" got back from his injury (remember that I was tracking real injuries to the organization), "Santana" wasn't setting the world on fire, and without "Greinke" the "Royals" needed their young pitchers to develop quite a bit more before almost any of them could be expected to adequately fill a spot in the starting pitcher rotation. Without anybody looking ready, it looked like it was time to offer "Carlos" for starting pitching in hopes of somehow making the playoffs.

Result: "Jake Odorizzi" returns to Kansas City

Nobody, and I mean nobody was willing to take on "Carlos Santana" and the rest of his contract for anybody even resembling a decent starting pitching arm, veteran or prospect. When I offered to eat 75% of his contract, "Santana" finally did draw the interest of the "Astros" if I took on all of "Odorizzi's" contract. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so "Jake" was back. I also called up "Pratto."

For a couple of weeks after having "Odorizzi" and "Pratto" the "Royals" played about .500 and stayed about six games below that even-steven figure. While still hoping for the bats to warm up and for the return of "Greinke," something else happened.

Second Blow: "Bobby Witt Jr." injured until the middle of August

"Bobby" started slow but he was figuring things out and he was well on his way of becoming a solid middle of the lineup bat and even potentially the Rookie of the Year. The "Witt Jr." injury forced "Matheny" to juggle his lineup with "Rivera" and "Dozier" taking turns at the hot corner. Even though "Emmanuel" played like no world-beater, "Hunter" could not step up to even that mild competition to claim the full-time role.

Result One: Nine game losing streak

The "Royals" went from six below .500 to fifteen below that mark in short order. Additionally, "Odorizzi" let it be known that he wanted to play for a contender and that since he felt that "Kansas City" was hopeless for 2022 a trade out of town was suiting for "Jake." I shopped "Odorizzi" but decided to wait until the return of "Zack" before making any deal.

I might as well mention at this point that the "Kansas City Royals" had other things going on. Both "Taylor" and "Isbel" suffered ten to fifteen day injuries about this time and it got so desperate that GM "kcstengelsr" signed the legendary "Stefan Romero" as a backup outfielder. "Stefan" did not play very much while "Michael A." and "Kyle" were healing and "Romero" did mention his desire for better Japanese restaurants in the KC Metro, but this was all a minor issue compared to "Bobby Witt Jr." and "Romero" did eventually accept a trip to Omaha when the more regular outfielders returned.

Result Two: Cleaning house, "Odorizzi," "Dozier," and "Merrifield" traded

Not many teams were willing to take on "Jake's" contract for a decent prospect. The "Phillies" were in the Win-Now mode and made the best if not exactly exciting offer of pitcher "Ofreidy Gomez." Why not? "Gomez" at least was younger and cheaper and the "Royals" at that point were in the red for budget room after eating most of "Santana's" contract.

I wanted to make more moves with one being the underperforming "Hunter Dozier." "Dozier" at that point had the lowest WAR on the team at -1.7 and he could not even beat out "Rivera" at hot corner. "Vinnie Pasquantino" looked like a bat which could better help the struggling "Kansas City Royals." I shopped "Hunter" but with his contract I got zero takers. I offered to add "Merrifield" along with "Dozier" and got some modest interest. "Whit" had eventually managed to get his batting average up to a little above .240 with a whopping 0.0 WAR but at this point I was ready to make way for the new. I shipped both "Dozier" and "Merrifield" to the "Atlanta Braves" for youngish pitcher "Darius Vines." "Darius" was placed in "Omaha," "Vinnie P." was called from the farm, and "Ivan Castillo" made it back to the big leagues from the "Storm Chasers." "John Sherman" did like one thing about this trade--the "Royals" were now back in the black for budget room.

July 11 Amateur Draft: "Royals" draft "Cam Collier" with their first (ninth overall) choice

I don't know much about the kid, but "Goldberg" liked him. I guess you can check out:

All Star Game: "Salvador Perez" and "Taylor Clarke" represent "Kansas City"

Salvy managed 27 dingers at the All Star Break and won the all-AI vote for AL catcher by a decent margin. "Taylor Clarke" was a surprise but he had been doing well out of the bullpen and AI liked him.

Duffman Returns

"Danny Duffy" was rehabbing with the "Dodgers" and suffered yet another AI-created injury setback. It took until early July before he was ready to try a game in "Oklahoma City." The "Los Angeles Dodgers" had enough pitching depth that after one game in the "International League" "Duffy" was released and became a free agent. GM "kcstengelsr" asked "Danny" what it would take to have him back in town and "Danny Duffy" replied, "A minor league deal, $330K in quick cash, and bury me in Kansas City." The "Royals" being ranked last in starting pitcher runs allowed, Duffman was not only signed, he was placed in the starting rotation. Here is "Danny Duffy's" first game back in "Royals" blue, which is also the first game of "Kansas City" after the All Star Break this Mid-July. The Tampa Bay Rays are in town and here it is on YouTube:

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