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Moustakas, Should He Be Demoted?

Nice gleet.
Nice gleet.

Mike Moustakas has had a rough go since being promoted to the major league club on June 10th. So far this season, the 22 year old has a triple slash line of 0.198/0.262/0.252. Of the 358 players with at at least 110 PA, he has the 21st worst OPS in the league. Most of Mike's problems can be traced to his inability to hit the ball hard as seen by his 27% IFFB rate and the effects it has on his BABIP (0.233).

By playing so badly, I could easily see why people might think he should be sent down to Omaha to work on his swing. I am not sure if he has a problem with his swing or has been just a bit unlucky, but I think he should be kept up in the majors for the 2 following reasons.

1. Alcides Escobar Effect - Alcides struggled mightily at the beginning of the season.  It took 253 PA for Escobar to get his OPS permanently above 0.533, Mike's current level. Escobar has been hitting decently and is becoming a positive contributor to the team.

Mike just may need more time to help figure out major league pitching. In the mean time, he is surprisingly making a positive contribution with his glove at 3B. Moustakas has a positive UZR for the season (0.8) and is passing the eye test, for me, with flying colors after hearing that his defense was sub-par from several sources.

2. Wilson Betemit will have to play - If Moustakas is sent down to Omaha, Wilson Betemit will probably get the call to play 3B. Wilson is not having as good of a season this year (0.750 OPS) as compared to last season (0.889 OPS). He has played decently and currently some teams are looking at possibly trading for him. The Royals should not give those teams a reason to not like Wilson by seeing him fail on the field.

GMs, although they shouldn't be, are swayed by recent small sample sizes. If Betemit has to play 3B and bat everyday, he could fail and decrease his trade value (which has decreased as the season has gone on). Also, he may increase it, but with teams already interested, I would just try to keep them after him.