Mike Moustakas has played 830 games in the field in Major League baseball and all 830 have been at third base.
Moose was on the bench in the original starting lineup submitted by manager Ned Yost. The slugger had been “day-to-day” after suffering a bone bruise in his right forearm after being hit by a pitch in Monday’s game, forcing him out of the game. He did not start Tuesday’s contest, although Ned Yost said he would have started had a right-hander been on the mound rather than lefty Chris Sale. Moose did come out as a pinch-hitter, grounding out to second.
But in a plot twist, the Royals submitted a revised starting lineup with Mike Moustakas at first base.
Moustakas is now in the Royals lineup. At first base. pic.twitter.com/QuowC52qVL— Maria Torres (@maria_torres3) May 2, 2018
There was some speculation that perhaps Moose is playing third to showcase him for a potential trade, showing off some positional versatility. Moose started his professional career at shortstop, but has played third base exclusively ever since his second year of minor league baseball.
More likely is that the bone bruise is still affecting his throwing, but he is good enough to swing a bat.
Ned Yost says Moose still a little stiff. Can swing fine. Going to test it out in a bit. Could still move back to third before this one starts.— Joel Goldberg (@goldbergkc) May 2, 2018
The Royals haven’t had trouble scoring runs in the two games without Moose - they scored six on Monday and won with seven runs in extra innings on Tuesday. However, Moose is hitting .299/.333/.573 with eight home runs in 123 plate appearances, and it is tough to keep his bat out of the lineup for very long. Playing first base gives a rest for the struggling Lucas Duda, who is just 8-for his last-54 (.148).
Just called George Brett to ask him about playing 1st as a longtime third baseman. If it happens, George said Moose will have a blast today. “We are such good athletes at third they can play us anywhere.”— Joel Goldberg (@goldbergkc) May 2, 2018
Moose will face a lefty on the mound as the Royals take on Drew Pomeranz and the Red Sox. Game time is 12:05 CT.
Update: Now Moose is back at third. Pick a lineup, Ned.