Trey Hillman's money isn't near his mouth

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Here’s Royals manager Trey Hillman on Mitch Maier, as quoted in the Kansas City Star on March 30.
“Full package. Honestly, no reservation saying this: I know I’ve never seen this much development at this level in one year for a position player.”
And here’s Mitch Maier’s batting line two games into the 2010 season:
.000/.000/.000 in 0 AB.
Yeah, it’s just two games. But it could well be a third on Thursday since Maier is a left-handed hitter and the Tigers are starting Dontrelle Willis after going with consecutive righties to open the season.
(Although, maybe not. Maier has actually hit lefties considerably better than righties during his major league tenure.)
Now, I don’t think Maier is going to have much of a career in the majors. He’s 27, and he got his extended chance last year and hit .243/.333/.331 in 341 at-bats. I’m perfectly fine with the Royals not playing him.
But what on earth is Hillman spewing in Kansas City? If he thinks Maier’s remarkable .475/.530/.814 line this spring is a sign of genuine improvement, then it’s mind-boggingly stupid that he’s holding him out of action in favor of Jose Guillen, Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel.
That’s part of what I’ve found particularly disgusting about the Royals these last 10 years or so. Some teams gamble and lose big. The Royals, though, go for the safe choice (cough*Jason Kendall*cough) and just keep losing big anyway.

Dodgers activate Adrian Gonzalez

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The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.

Rays activate Kevin Kiermaier

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The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.

Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.