Well, Ned Yost did, but that’s not the point.
However, I think there is a plan when it comes to Mike Moustakas. I am not saying it is a good plan, but Mr. Moore might have an idea. Hell, Moustakas is hitting – more accurately not hitting – to the tune of a .152/.223/.320 triple slash: there needed to be some kind of plan for something!
One would assume the Moore plan is based on the Alex Gordon model that eventually turned a spiraling downward third basemen into a Gold Glove All Starish left fielder. That excludes a couple of key facts:
- When Gordon was sent down for real in 2010 (he was demoted in 2009 as well, under the guise of injuries/rehab), Alex was hitting just .194/.342/.323 on May 1st. For his career, 1,399 plate appearances, Alex sported a .249/.311/.360 triple slash. (Yes, I’m using triple slashes here – you don’t get advanced metrics Mr. Moustakas until you routinely top the Mendoza line). Moustakas has been worse that Gordon, even in his best year, at least offensively.
- When Alex Gordon came back later in 2010 as an outfielder, he managed to hit just .218/.311/.360. Two months in Omaha where he hit .315/.442/.577 did not a major league hitter make.
- Only after an off-season of a complete swing rebuild (this remains Kevin Seitzer’s most valuable contribution to the Kansas City Royals) did the player we see now actually emerge.
The more accurate ‘plan’ would be the Mark Teahen experience. Teahen was floundering as well when sent down in May of 2005 with a season mark of .195/.241/.351 and career line of .237/.297/.369 in just under 600 plate appearances. He proceeded to smack AAA pitching around to the tune of .380/.500/.658 in just under 100 plate appearances and then just kept on going in the majors.
For one beautiful summer, Mark Teahen was tremendous, hitting 50 extra base hits in just 82 starts (including 16 home runs) and raking to the tune of .313/.384/.557. Of course, Mark went into decline after that, but 2014 is the ‘go for it year’, so who cares about 2015 right now? Could Moustakas do the same as Teahen? I could see it, sure. Sadly, I could see him come back no better as well.
He could be Andy Marte.
You might remember Marte as the 2004 #11 prospect in baseball. And #9 in 2005 and #14 in 2006. Trust me, Mark Teahen was miles better in the majors than Marte and Mark doesn’t have a job anymore.
Maybe there is not a plan. There’s a chance that Yost and Moore just got fed up with Moustakas and wanted a change of scenery for all involved. However, as this whole string of words started out, my guess is they are hoping for a big month in Omaha out of the former star prospect while Danny Valencia rides a hot streak in the majors, followed by a triumphant return to KC for Mike (maybe they’ll have a parade, too).
Reasons and plans, or lack thereof, aside: this was an actual big boy baseball move. One that admits that the Royals pinned their hopes on a guy who simply was not getting the job done. In a small way, it makes the Royals seem like an organization thinking first of getting better instead of making themselves appear to be the smartest kid in the class.
As an aside, great to be back here at Royals Authority. While I had fun over at Royals Review, a more casual and less corporate environment made all the sense in the world to both Craig and myself. We are, after all, just a couple of grumpy old men, sitting in the lobby of Authority HQ smoking cigars and leering at the receptionist.