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 vision?KANSAS CITY -- Since becoming general manager in 2006, Dayton Moore has been bullish on building a team that could defend Kauffman Stadium.Moore
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 vision?
KANSAS CITY -- Since becoming general manager in 2006, Dayton Moore has been bullish on building a team that could defend Kauffman Stadium.
Moore slowly constructed a team based on speed and defense, and because of small-market financial limitations that made it difficult to create an elite rotation, he also focused on creating a shutdown bullpen that eventually helped the Royals capture two straight pennants and a World Series title.
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Has that vision changed? Perhaps slightly, mainly out of financial necessity, and also because of some offseason enlightenment.
"We will always have to adjust to our financial environment," Moore said. "But with the changes we have made, we still believe we can field a highly competitive team."
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The biggest change in vision is something Moore has talked about repeatedly this offseason: The need for more power in his lineup.
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That quest for power is one reason the Royals acquired Jorge Soler from the Cubs for closer Wade Davis (finances and club control were the others). Soler could give the Royals a power outlet in right field they haven't seen since Jermaine Dye.
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Moore also been quick to mention that Salvador Perez set a Royals record for home runs by a catcher last season with 22, and that Eric Hosmer set a career high with 25.
Moore believes six or seven Royals could hit 20 or more home runs this season. That would include recently acquired Brandon Moss, who hit 28 homers last season and could fill the void left by Kendrys Morales (30 homers last season).
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"First and foremost, we have to have a team that can defend Kauffman Stadium," Moore said. "That isn't going to change, but we also play half our games on the road where it would be nice to have that power."
The need for more power and more runs is based out of necessity, too. Moore's prototypical shutdown bullpen is in transition without Davis, Greg Holland, Luke Hochevar and others.
Moore hopes to transition younger arms into the bullpen, such as prospects Matt Strahm and Josh Staumont. That is why Moore believes it is essential for the Royals' offense to score more runs in 2017.
"We need to give our bullpen some cushion this year," Moore said. "In years past, we have been clinging to one-run leads late in games, and that puts a lot of stress on the bullpen. We're hoping to have three- or four-run leads when we can this year.
"We have to adjust. We have to think differently. We'll have to be smarter. We'll have to coach smarter."
Stronger and smarter: That may sum up the Royals' vision for 2017.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.