Yost resists classifying the situation as a platoon, but his actions could dictate otherwise. "I imagine we'll see Danny pinch-hitting a little bit more against tough left-handers," Yost said.
The above came from a Star article on April 30, headlined "Royals manager Ned Yost gives struggling Mike Moustakas a vote of confidence." In other words, don't call it a platoon.
But it was a platoon. And since then, Moustakas has hit .150/.222/.275 in 45 plate appearances. Yeah, it's a small sample size due to the platoon, but the whole idea of the platoon is to maximize potential match ups. Maybe we could understand if Moustakas was still getting punished by left-handed pitching, but he's been sitting against those guys. Against right-handers - the guys where he's supposed to have a platoon advantage - Moustakas is hitting a meagre .162/.221/.351. Not good.
"I just wanted to give Danny a shot... He's got an opportunity now, three days in a row, let's see what develops," Yost said.
With "three days in a row," Yost is referring to a pair of left-handed starters the Royals are slated to face the next two games. I can see two school's of thought here. One, they're giving Moustakas an extended break. With the off day Thursday, he will get four days in a row. That's not going to fix Moustakas, but at this point any attempt at a fix is grasping at straws. Two, they are giving Valencia a chance to seize the job. He did well in his audition against Rienzo, collecting a couple of hits and driving in a pair. But let's not kid ourselves. Valencia is who he is, and that's a platoon candidate. One game does not build a case.
But it's clear the Royals need to do something. Moustakas is forcing their hand. He's simply not good enough to be in the lineup, no matter the pitcher on the mound. Valencia may scuffle against right-handers, but collectively he will provide more value with the bat than Moustakas will in a platoon. It's sad that it's come to this. The third base tree remains barren.
I wrap today with a personal note. After almost two years as managing editor of Royals Review, it's time for me to move on from the site. I've enjoyed my time at SB Nation, but the best part of being here has been getting to work with Zimmerman, Retro, Duggan, Connor, Tyler, NHZ and I'm Not That Bright. It's a great crew of writers, but you already knew that. I also can't say enough about the support staff that works behind the scenes. I know they take some flak, but they are truly among the best at what they do. Their work is essential to the success of SB Nation and Royals Review.
It just feels like the right time to go back to the old digs at Royals Authority. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, Clark and I will be clearing out the cobwebs and reopening the old site. Besides, the domain is paid for until 2020 or Dayton Moore leaves town. Whichever comes first. We've been writing together about the Royals for something like 10 years. I think we're named beneficiaries on each other's life insurance.
It was a privilege to hang at Royals Review the last couple of years. Hope to see you down the road. Thanks for reading.