Kansas City finally got a victory over the Twins on Sunday after starting the year 0-6 against Minnesota. There are plenty of differences between this year's Royals and their teams of the past few years, but the most significant one at least from watching the handful of games between the two teams is the bullpen.
The Royals entered Sunday with a team bullpen ERA of 4.95, which was 25th in MLB.
It's not as if the Royals said to themselves, "the reason we went to the World Series in 2014 and won the World Series in 2015 was our bullpen. Let's not do that in 2017." But they did trade outstanding reliever Wade Davis to the Cubs this past offseason for young outfielder Jorge Soler, who has struggled with the Royals while Davis has continued to excel in Chicago.
It might prove to be a good long-term decision, but in the short term Kansas City tinkered with a winning formula.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. email@example.com