Kansas City T-Bones Mid-Season Report
Record: 29-39, Fourth in the Central Division, Ninth Overall in the American Association
A lot of things have gone wrong for Manager John Massarelli and the Kansas City T-Bones early on in this season. It has primarily been injuries that has hurt this club and that has not allowed the T-Bones to get on any kind of roll. The longest winning streak for Kansas City this season has been two-games, and you simply are not going to compete when you can’t put together some streaks where you win four or five games in a row.
That is the bad news. The good news is that this team is too talented not to start winning some games and they are just 10-games out in the Central Division. That may seem like a lot, but there is a lot to like about this lineup. Eddie Mojica has played well and is really adding some pop to the lineup, but Anthony Gallas and Vladimir Frias have not put up the numbers that is expected of this team. Let them get on a roll and 10-games can be cut to three or four in no time.
Mid-Season MVP: Jake Blackwood
If you were to ask Blackwood what kind of season he was having the first baseman would probably tell you a disappointing one. He is hitting .266, below his standards, but his 52-RBI is nearly twice that of the next best producer on the team. He leads the team in homers (12) and has played a solid first base. Let him catch fire again and he can carry this team for a week or two.
Mid-Season Top Pitcher: Mike Kickham
Kickham joined the staff about a month after the season began, but has been everything that Massarelli could have asked for and more. The left-hander has made seven starts, posting a 2-1 record and a 2.86 ERA. He has been very good at keeping runners off base as well, walking 15 and allowing 36-hits in 44-innings pitched. He will be a major key for the team if they look to make a serious run.
The Kansas City T-Bones have a serious hill to climb, but not one that cannot be overcome. This is a good hitting team that just needs to get healthy, and they need some help from the rotation. If the starting pitching can put together a run of eight or nine straight quality starts this lineup should have what it takes to win seven or eight of those games. From there, they can cut that deficit in half within in a 10 or 11-day period of time. With eight-games against Sioux City and Lincoln to start the second half, they are in a position to help themselves right off. Taking anything less than six of games would be crushing at this point.
By Robert Pannier