MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Cain focuses on turning around season

Cain focuses on turning around season

NEW YORK -- Center fielder Lorenzo Cain is not afraid to point out his shortcomings on the baseball field. After a 3-0 loss to the Yankees recently, Cain said he is not playing up to expectations for the Royals, who are in fifth place in the American League Central.

Entering Friday's action against the Indians, Cain is hitting .259, 27 points below his career average, with two home runs and 10 RBIs. The self-evaluation is coming from a guy who was the Royals Player of the Year in 2014 and an All-Star the following year.

"I wouldn't call it an OK start," Cain said in the podcast, "Newsmakers." "I'm definitely not playing my best baseball right now. I can definitely play a lot better. I need to be playing a lot better. … I haven't been swinging the bat well at all. So, I continue to grind, continue to work in the cage and get better. Hopefully, that will turn around soon as well."

Cain's running grab in center

Cain becomes a free agent after this season, and needs to end the season on a good note. There's even talk that he could be dealt before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

But, it seems as if Cain doesn't want to change uniforms. As he put it, he would like to win another World Series title in Kansas City. Cain can't predict the future; he can focus only on the right now.

"That's the business side of it," Cain said.

For most of Cain's seven years in Kansas City, it's been an extraordinary ride. He guided the Royals to two pennants and one World Series title. He won the American League Championship Series MVP in 2014 by going 8-for-15 (.533) with five runs scored.

Cain on sweep, MVP award

"Of course, I want to stay here. … Everybody knows I want to stay here," Cain said. "I love it here. I love playing here. I love the fans. I love the people in the front office. I love everybody in the organization. It's just good surroundings. I love being surrounded by good people, laid-back people, easy-going people. It's definitely fun to play for the Kansas City Royals."

Cain gets a kick when fans thank him for helping turn the Royals into a winning franchise. In turn, Cain says the Royals fans made him a part of their family.

"It's a great feeling when people come up to you, and tell you how much they care, how much they are supporting us," he said. "It makes you feel good inside. That's why we go on the field, and get it done as much as possible."

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002 and does a podcast, Newsmakers. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.