Mike Moustakas benched so that he can work on swing

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The Royals said Wednesday that Mike Moustakas will get the next two days off so that he can work on an adjustment to a swing that’s produced a .194 average to date.

Moustakas, who was called up nearly two months to replace Wilson Betemit as the Royals’ starting third baseman, has just one homer — that coming in his second big-league game — six doubles and 10 RBI in 155 at-bats.  His .505 OPS ranks seventh worst of everyone with at least 170 plate appearances this season:

1. Reid Brignac (SS Rays): .453
2. Brandon Inge (3B Tigers): .483
3. Chone Figgins (3B Mariners): .484
4. Franklin Gutierrez (OF Mariners): .487
5. Tsuyoshi Nishioka (INF Twins): .492
6. Jeff Mathis (C Angels): .494
7. Moustakas: .505
8. Alberto Gonzalez (INF Padres): .520
9. Brandon Crawford (SS Giants): .536
10. Alex Rios (OF White Sox): .540

Moustakas, the second overall pick in the 2007 draft, still has a very promising future, but it looks like the Royals misjudged his readiness for the majors.  His .284/.347/.498 line for Triple-A Omaha wasn’t really all that impressive all things considered.  Of the 15 players to have at least 100 plate appearances for Omaha this season, seven have posted better OPSs than Moustakas’ .845 mark.  Eric Hosmer, in comparison, hit .439/.525/.582 prior to his callup.

Bruce Maxwell first MLB player to kneel during National Anthem

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Athletics’ rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell did not stand for the National Anthem on Saturday night. He’s the first MLB player to do so and, like other professional athletes before him, used the moment to send a message — not just to shed light on the lack of racial equality in the United States, but to specifically protest President Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire any of their players who elect to protest the anthem by sitting or kneeling.

“Bruce’s father is a proud military lifer. Anyone who knows Bruce or his parents is well aware that the Maxwells’ love and appreciation for our country is indisputable,” Maxwell’s agent, Matt Sosnick, relayed to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser on Friday. He continued:

Bruce has made it clear that he is taking a stand about what he perceives as racial injustices in this country, and his personal disappointment with President Trump’s response to a number of professional athletes’ totally peaceful, non-violent protests.

Bruce has shared with both me and his teammates that his feelings have nothing to do with a lack of patriotism or a hatred of any man, but rather everything to do with equality for men, women and children regardless of race or religion.

While Maxwell didn’t make his own statement to the media, he took to Instagram earlier in the day to express his frustration against the recent opposition to the protests, criticizing the President for endorsing “division of man and rights.”

Despite Trump’s profanity-laced directive to NFL owners on Friday, however, it’s clear the Athletics don’t share his sentiments. “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive,” the team said in a statement released after Maxwell’s demonstration. “We respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”

Whatever the fallout, kudos to Maxwell for taking a stand. He may be the first to do so in this particular arena, but he likely won’t be the last.

Alex Wilson broke his leg on a 103-MPH comebacker

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This one is brutal. Tigers’ right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was diagnosed with a broken leg after taking a blistering 103.8-MPH line drive off of his right leg during Saturday’s game against the Twins. According to the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, it’s a non-displaced fibular fracture, but will still warrant an extended recovery period and signal the end of Wilson’s season.

Wilson replaced Drew VerHagen to start the eighth inning and worked a full count against Joe Mauer. Mauer roped an 93.3-MPH fastball back up the middle, where it struck the pitcher on his right calf. While Mauer took first base, Wilson got to his feet and tried to toss a warm-up pitch, but was in too much pain to continue and had to be helped off the field.

Even in a season that isn’t going anywhere in particular, this isn’t how you want it to end. The Tigers have yet to announce a recovery timetable for the 30-year-old reliever, but he won’t return to the mound until 2018. He exited Saturday’s outing with a 4.35 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 over 60 innings.

The Tigers currently trail the Twins 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.