Mike Moustakas Optioned and a New Contributor!
Because this is the first post on Around the Diamond that isn’t by the blog’s creator, let me introduce myself. My name is Ryan Landreth, and I’m a sophomore multimedia student at MidAmerica Nazarene University. I met Sarah through Twitter, and for the last two years, we’ve entertained each other with our rants about life, liberty and the Kansas City Royals. My main projects include podcasts covering the NFL and college basketball, so while those sports are in the offseason, I needed something to do. Sarah agreed to let me write with her on this site, and while I’m no Sam Mellinger, I think Royals fans will enjoy my accurate but frequently dramatic and sometimes borderline abusive opinions on our boys in blue.
For my first blog entry, I was handed a particularly intriguing story. If any one word describes the Royals front office over the course of my lifetime, it’s “inept”. They will quite often wait too long to make a move that everybody sees as right (see the eventual DFA’s of Jeff Franceour and Chris Getz). Today, though, when I woke up and checked my phone, I came across news that shocked me. The Kansas City Royals had optioned 3B Mike ‘I don’t watch film’ Moustakas to the Royals AAA affiliate in Omaha, finally putting their foot down in a season with a “absolutely must win now” philosophy. Wow! The Royals made the right move and it wasn’t a year overdue (kind of). Say it ain’t so, Dayton!
Most Royals fans had been calling for ‘Moose’ to be sent down for awhile now, and rightfully so. Moustakas’ stat line through 139 plate appearances in 2014: .152/.223/.320, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 26 SO. Through 1,498 career at-bats, he’s hitting .236. There have been bright spots, such as him belting 20 home runs in 2012 and his strikeout rate dramatically lowering in each of the last three seasons, but there’s no question that this was a move that had to be made. I came across a stat the other day about how there are 144 players to receive at least 1500 PA’s since the start of 2011, and Mike Moustakas is dead last in OBP. I still think that he can be a solid third baseman with yearly stat lines of .255/.325 with 20+ home runs and 80+ RBI’s, but there is no question that the timing is right for him to go to Omaha and get him fixed. As good as he was in spring training, I do have confidence that the ‘Moose’ will be loose at Kauffman Stadium sometime in the near future.
As far as the other details of the roster move, 3B Jimmy Padres will replace Moustakas on the big-league roster before Friday’s game against the Angles. A decision will be made Friday on the status of 2B Omar Infante, who is eligible to come off the DL after being out since May 7 with a back injury. When he eventually rejoins the Royals, the corresponding move will likely be involving one of the catchers - Brett Hayes (please?) or Francisco Pena.
The Royals clearly still have problems. They can’t hit home runs, the front office makes way too many excuses, and the entire team save for James Shields and Billy Butler are wildly inconsistent. Dayton Moore has been telling us (to my disgust), the pieces are there – and that’s true. It’s taking awhile, but maybe one day…maybe…we’ll see the whole team blossom and succeed in a display of unity. However, if it’s going to happen, they need Mike Moustakas, and he needs Omaha right now.
Follow me on Twitter at @ryan_landreth, though I can get a little hyped up during games. I love James Shields. I don’t like Brett Hayes or Dayton Moore. I’m new with this, so feedback is appreciated. #BeRoyalKC