One week ago Royals manager Ned Yost said he was sticking with third baseman Mike Moutakas despite a ghastly .147 batting average. Today the Royals demoted Moustakas to Triple-A.
In between then and now Moustakas went 3-for-16 (.188) with two doubles in six games, which apparently convinced the Royals they’ve seen enough struggles from the 25-year-old former top prospect and No. 2 overall pick.
Moustakas has certainly earned the demotion. In addition to this year’s struggles he’s hit just .236 with a .669 OPS in 414 career games, posting an ugly 284/105 K/BB ratio while showing zero signs of improvement. It’s just noteworthy that Yost came out so strongly in favor of sticking with Moustakas only to see the team demote him exactly one week later.
Last time Moustakas was at Triple-A he was a 22-year-old top prospect in 2011 and he hit .287 with an .845 OPS in 55 games before the Royals called him up. However, even then his 44/19 K/BB ratio was a red flag.
And now the Royals’ primary third baseman is 29-year-old journeyman Danny Valencia.
Dan Jennings‘ tenure as the Marlins manager has not been great and the team is now actively looking for his replacement. But his old job is there waiting for him if he wants it, reports Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald: Jennings has been asked to come back as the team’s general manager.
Or maybe “asked” is not correct. Team President David Samson said “there’s no decision” for Jennings to make and that he’s still “a signed member” of the team’s front office, reporting to baseball operations president Michael Hill.
Reports last month suggested that Jennings would take a wait-and-see approach regarding returning to the Marlins front office, with hopes of possibly landing a GM job in another organization with greater control than he’s had and will have with the multi-headed Marlins management team. The Mariners, for one, were a team Jennings was said to have his eye on. But that job has been filled and it would not seem like such opportunities have presented themselves to him.
So: it would seem a good bet that Jennings is back upstairs with the Marlins soon. Because the Marlins fully expect him to be.
Making official what manager Ned Yost talked about last week, the Royals announced their rotation for the ALDS versus the Wild Card game winner: Yordano Ventura, not Johnny Cueto, will get the Game 1 assignment against the Yankees or Astros, followed by Cueto in Game 2 and Edinson Volquez in Game 3.
It’s quite a turnaround for Ventura, who pitched his way out of the rotation and was briefly demoted to Triple-A, only to quickly return and go 7-1 with a 2.38 ERA in his final 11 starts.
When the Royals acquired Cueto from the Reds they did so with the intention of the impending free agent becoming their top-of-the-rotation ace, but he mostly struggled with a 4.76 ERA in 13 post-trade starts.
Volquez led the Royals with 200 innings, starting 33 games with a 3.55 ERA and 155/72 K/BB ratio while allowing just 16 homers in 850 plate appearances.