The struggles continued for Eric Hosmer over the weekend, and his season line is now down to .185/.261/.370. At what point do the Royals consider sending him down to AAA?
As we wrote last week, there are good fundamentals to Hosmer's offensive game. He'll see some pitches, take his walks, and he is good for a home run once a week. (Though Hosmer's low doubles total, 3, is surprising. Getz has 4.) Nevertheless, his batting average has been so low for so long, that he's really hurting the Royals' offense. Dude's got a .261, even with one of the better walk rates on the team.
Hosmer was promoted exactly one year ago today, appearing in the Royals's 31st game of the season. It was earlier than many expected, and, relatedly, made it extremely likely that Hosmer reach "Super Two" status after this season. It's hard to know just where the Super Two line will be, but needless to say, a month or two in AAA could put Hosmer in line to not reach Super Two status, which would save the Royals millions of dollars, barring a long-term contract deal.
On that timeline, avoiding Super Two isn't likely to happen. So we're talking about a demotion strictly for instructional/change of scenery/psychological reasons. (You can see how last season's super early Hosmer promotion and the new Super Two schedule has put the Royals in a tough situation here/possibly made the whole discussion last season irrelevant."
Now, I don't think that will happen either. The team's approach to its young players seems mostly to be "everyone is awesome extensions for everyone!" The team's 2012 marketing slogan is "Our Time." The 2012 All-Star Game is in Kansas City. Things are supposed to be getting better.
However, Hosmer has probably earned a demotion. We know he'll be back. This isn't the Kila situation, where the Royals are giving him 100 PAs to prove himself. Hosmer would have to hit .025/.025/.025 for like three straight years for the Royals to give up on him.
In his last season plus at AAA, Clint Robinson has hit .319/.400/.524. He's 27 years old and not likely to be a star in the waiting. He can probably adequately fill time however. Moreover, the Royals can create additional franchise value by seeing if he can at least be the next Chris Davis or something.