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AL Central Review and Preview: The Kansas City Royals

Jordan Lyles pitches on the road for the Kansas City Royals.

The Royals had an awful season in 2023, but some sensible signings this winter are creating hope for a better 2024.

The Kansas City Royals endured a challenging 2023 season, concluding with a sobering 56-106 record. The campaign, marked by a series of setbacks and formidable opponents, left the Royals grappling with the harsh realities of a trying season. From the outset, the team faced hurdles, struggling to find a consistent rhythm on both the mound and at the plate.

Managerial decisions were scrutinized as the Royals navigated the demanding landscape of professional baseball. As the season concludes, the focus shifts to strategic reassessment and rebuilding, with the organization poised to address the deficiencies that contributed to the subpar performance. The 2023 season for the Royals stands as a stark chapter, prompting reflection and the determination to forge a more competitive future in the upcoming seasons.

Month By Month

Spring Training and March

To much surprise around the league, the Kansas City Royals compiled a 19-13 record in Spring Training, providing great optimism for future seasons ahead. The momentum did not carry over, though, as the Royals went 0-1 in the month of March with an Opening Day loss to the Minnesota Twins.

April: A Challenging Start (7-21)

April was tough for the Kansas City Royals, finishing with a 7-21 record. The month set a gloomy tone. The team struggled against tough opponents. Both pitching and hitting lacked consistency. Managerial decisions faced scrutiny. April raised concerns about the Royals’ competitiveness and lack of pitching, including the decline of SP Jordan Lyles.

May: Continued Struggles (10-17)

May brought little relief, ending with a 10-17 record. The team grappled with on-field struggles. Consistent momentum proved to be elusive. Pitching inconsistencies and offensive struggles persisted. The organization sought solutions for improvement.

June: Midseason Turmoil (6-20)

June brought midseason turmoil with a challenging 6-20 record. Previous struggles persisted. Both pitching and hitting faltered. Injuries and a lack of cohesion compounded woes. Observers rose questions about the team’s direction in the coming years. The Royals even briefly dropped below the Oakland A’s for worst record in the Majors.

Second Half Slog

July: A Glimpse of Stability (9-16)

July saw a very slight improvement, concluding with a 9-16 record. The team showed glimpses of resilience. Certain players stepped up, such as SS Bobby Witt, Jr. Success remained elusive. Strategic decisions were crucial for enhancing performance.

August: Lingering Struggles Persist (9-19)

August saw lingering struggles with a 9-19 record. Intermittent successes were challenging to sustain. Pitching issues and offensive inconsistencies persisted. The organization evaluated its approach under new Executive VP JJ Piccolo.

September: A Ray of Hope (14-12)

September closed with a slightly optimistic note, finishing with a 14-12. The month provided a ray of hope. Improved performances hinted at team resilience. Late-season momentum offered valuable insights.


Reflecting on the 2023 season, the Kansas City Royals navigated a rollercoaster journey marked by early setbacks and midseason turmoil. Lingering struggles defined much of the campaign, prompting the organization to confront the need for a comprehensive reassessment. The late-season improvements in September provided a glimmer of optimism for the future, showcasing the resilience within the team. As the season concluded, the Royals could draw from these late-season successes in the pursuit of strategic adjustments and player development during the offseason.

The Royals faced a tough start in April, with a disheartening 7-21 record. The struggles against formidable opponents raised concerns about the team’s competitiveness. May brought little relief, concluding with a 10-17 record, as the team grappled with on-field struggles and sought solutions for improvement. June marked midseason turmoil, with a challenging 6-20 record and questions about the team’s direction. July offered a slight improvement with a 9-16 record, showcasing glimpses of resilience but highlighting the need for strategic decisions. Lingering struggles persisted in August, finishing with a 9-19 record, prompting the organization to evaluate its approach. September closed on a slightly optimistic note, finishing 14-12, providing a ray of hope and valuable insights into late-season momentum.

After starting the season on pace with Oakland, the Royals were able to show the league their potential with how they finished the season. If Kansas City comes out of the gate hot next year, I fully expect to see the team end up at or around .500 on the season.

At this stage in the rebuild, I think a .500 season is the benchmark to reach.


The Kansas City Royals may have finished last in the AL Central last season, but their future is actually quite bright. Unlike their fellow bottom-dwelling companions in Oakland and Chicago, the Royals have a vision for the future with talent starting to already pan out.

I expect Kansas City to improve greatly in 2024, although playoff baseball is still likely out of the equation.

Give it another 2-3 years and the Royals will be back to competing for AL Central titles, alongside the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins. Get ready Patrick Mahomes, BBQ isn’t the only thing to pair with a Chiefs dynasty in the coming years out in the Midwest.

However,  I am expecting a middle-of-the-pack year for now, which winds up around .500 by the end of September for the Royals.

Prediction: Kansas City Royals (80-82) miss playoffs

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