KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The more Wil Myers rakes the ball, the more some fans and critics will view it as open season on the Royals and general manager Dayton Moore.
Moore knows this. And so does right-hander James Shields.
Myers, once the Royals’ top prospect, already has two homers, including a grand slam, a double, seven RBIs and a .294 average since his recall last week from Triple A to the Tampa Bay Rays.
It’s all a painful reminder to those opponents of Moore’s blockbuster deal last December that sent Myers and prospects Mike Montgomery, Jake Odorizzi and Patrick Leonard to Tampa for Shields, right-hander Wade Davis and infielder Elliot Johnson.
Never mind that Shields has sported a sparkling 2.92 ERA through 16 starts. The Royals, critics argue, needed Myers for their struggling offense.
Shields understands the fickle nature of some fans or critics.
“Obviously, last year the pitching staff didn’t do too well here and fans were saying they wanted some better pitching,” Shields said, smiling. “So if the fans are saying something else now, well, you can only do so much, you know?”
Shields admits he hasn’t really paid much attention to what Myers is doing.
“Ha, not really,” Shields said. “No, not really.
“I mean, either way, you hope everything works out well for him. I came here to do a job, to pitch and give us a chance to win. I’m not really too worried about what anybody thinks about (the trade).”
And Shields has his doubts that one player, such as Myers, could rescue any team’s offense.
“I don’t think one guy can change a whole team,” Shields said. “It’s a collective thing. … Fans want to jump on this right now but hey, I don’t know. I hope he’s going to have a long career. I’ll say that.”
Moore said he knows that Myers — Moore’s third-round pick in 2009 — has homered twice in the last week.
“I’m glad he’s doing well,” Moore said. “We paid him $2 million (in signing bonus) because we knew he was going to be a good player.
“We signed him and believed in him because we thought he was going to be a good player, and I strongly believe he will be. Good for him.”
Moore said he will not find himself rooting against any of the players he traded.
“I hope he has a good career and they all have good careers,” Moore said. “I want them to. But it’s a trade we would make again no matter what happens on that end.
“If you focus on what you lost, you will never be able to make a trade. The only thing that matters is what you get to improve your team. I won’t look back and focus on what we don’t have. We got better with the players we acquired.”
And Moore said there will be plenty more deals for anyone to critique down the line.
“It’s going to be who we are,” Moore said. “We will continually try to make deals and make upgrades to our team by utilizing what we have in our system.
“We just had a draft and will have one every year and we will keep drafting and keep developing players, and when we have to trade certain players to make us better as a team, we will. That’s the way it is.” You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email him at email@example.com