by John Viril—
With the Kansas City Royals mired in a 4-13 rut, general manager Dayton Moore has no more excuses left. The Royals are not only failing in Kansas City, but also in the minor leagues.
Up and down the organization, Moore’s prized prospects are failing to live up to their promise. Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas are simply not supplying the kind of offense the team needs from corner infielders. Despite C Salvador Perez‘s .320 BA, he’s slugging a soft .422 and has drawn a mere 3 walks in 152 plate appearances. The resulting pathetic offense has caused a nearly three-week tailspin. Right now, the big club is playing so poorly, they can’t even beat bad teams. In the minors, almost every top prospect is suffering a horrible season with the notable exception of pitcher Yordano Ventura.
With Moore in his 8th year in charge, we should be seeing results by now. Kansas City’s overall 21-23 record just doesn’t cut it. Especially when Moore traded away top prospects Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi in a win now bid. In the Kansas City Star, Moore swears he’s not going to panic. While he does still have some time in which he can wait, he cannot let the season crash and burn if the losing continues much longer.
Cries for patience are falling on increasingly deaf ears. Fans commenting on the team’s #Royals hashtag on Twitter make Jon Stewart seem like a cream-puff. Dayton Moore has to know that he won’t have a job if the team posts another dreary record. He needs to take drastic action to rescue both himself and the Royals’ season.
What he must do is address the two bleeding holes in his lineup: RF and 3B. In right field, Moore needs to cut Jeff Francoeur outright. I know eating the remainder of his $6.5 million salary is unpleasant, but the only thing worse than paying Jeff Francoeur is playing Jeff Francoeur. Frenchy is so bad that he’s not even hitting left-handers (.268/.318/.341). At this point, there isn’t even a beneficial way to use him.
As for 3B, Mike Moustakas needs to get sent down. He’s in a funk. After a brief hitting surge two weeks ago, he’s returned to flailing at the ball. His .174/.244/.299 line is beyond pathetic. Perhaps a stint in Omaha might clear the fog from his mind.
The problem, of course, is who will replace him? One immediate candidate is to use utility infielder Miguel Tejeda as a temporary stop-gap. Tejada is hitting .321/.345/.464 in only 29 plate appearances. Risking over-exposing the 38-year-old Tejada in full-time duty is hardly ideal, but playing Moustakas is even worse right now. Moore could then fill the roster spot with journeyman Anthony Seratelli. While no one believes the 30-year-old Seratelli has much of a major-league future, he is hitting .328/.437/.504 in Omaha. Why bother stocking emergency depth if you refuse to use it?
If Moore doesn’t do something soon, he might as well kiss his job goodbye.