Figuring they’ve had so much luck with Eric Hosmer, the Royals have decided to try another top prospect, calling up Mike Moustakas after Thursday’s game.
There are a couple of differences here, though. With a .287/.347/.498 line, 10 homers and 44 RBI, Moustakas wasn’t tearing up PCL competition quite like Hosmer did before his promotion. Plus, Moustakas isn’t likely to be an asset defensively and may move to the outfield at some point.
That’s not to say that Moustakas isn’t an excellent prospect. He hit .322/.369/.630 with 36 homers and 124 RBI between Double- and Triple-A last year, and he’s just 22 years old now. He doesn’t quite have Hosmer’s ceiling, but few do.
The Royals wouldn’t call up Moustakas for a bit role, so expect him to supplant Wilson Betemit as the team’s everyday third baseman. What that means for Betemit in the short-term is hard to say. He’s slumped of late, but he’s still been one of the Royals’ better players this year with his .289/.348/.411 line and 23 RBI. Also, turning him into a bench player would wreck his trade value.
A trade does seem assured. Hopefully, it comes soon. There are plenty of NL teams in need of help at third base, and Betemit has earned his opportunity to play regularly.
Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.
This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.
So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.
The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.
As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.
The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.
Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.
Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.