As many of you have undoubtedly heard, the Kansas City Royals optioned Johnny Giavotella to AAA, rewarding Chris Getz with the starting second base job.
Unsurprisingly, this started a discussion on Twitter whether the Royals made the right decision. The argument of Getz vs. Gio is a tired one, and it is the same argument that Royals fans have been having for over a year now with little change in the discussion.
A healthy Getz could give Kansas City one win this season. He makes pretty good contact at the plate with below-average plate discipline and absolutely no power. He is an above-average baserunner and an average fielder. He has accumulated 639 plate appearances the past two seasons, and been worth 1.5 fWAR. He is a below-average second baseman, but not an abject disaster.
Giavotella has been a disaster in his two major-league stints, accumulating -.7 fWAR. He has hit 36 percent below league average and posted a -7.9 UZR in 99 total games played. Obviously, small sample size issues are everywhere, as Gio only has 376 total plate appearances scattered over two seasons. He also has more potential at the plate than Getz, and could possibly be better if given the opportunity.
I can't say I'm shocked that the Royals have chosen Getz over Giavotella, as this is what I expected would happen last September. Management has never hidden their clear preference for Getz; Johnny basically needed to hit .500 this spring to beat out Getz.
I also don't have a strong opinion if it's the right decision either. The Royals should have given Giavotella more opportunities to prove himself the last two seasons by playing him everyday at second base. Yuniesky Betancourt had 228 plate appearances too many last season that could have gone to the younger, unproven player. If Gio had continued to struggle, then the team could rest easy knowing that he is a Quad-A player. If he had managed to turn things around, then the team could have felt better about giving him an opportunity.
Instead, the team is stuck with a known below-average commodity, but this commodity very well may be the best option the Royals have at second base. We simply don't know, which is the bigger issue here. Personally, I hoped the team would look for help in free agency this off-season, but that didn't happen either.
I just have a hard time getting too fired up about this issue. I feel like you have to pick your battles with this team, and if the team prefers one below-average second baseman to another likely below-average second baseman, I'm not going to scorch them for it. I have Getz/Giavotella fatigue, and don't feel like the discussion is really worth it anymore.
As Royals fans, we need to focus on the important things; the team has a Cactus League title to win. Ervin Santana is scheduled to start, with Tim Collins, J.C Gutierrez, Dan Wheeler and Louis Coleman all scheduled to pitch.
Finally, how is your bracket going? Just kidding, I don't care. Go Royals.