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.
The Rays were set to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz with a ceremony prior to Sunday’s game, but as Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports, the slugger requested it be canceled out of respect for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died early Sunday morning in a boating accident.
Ortiz was seen tearing up as the Rays remembered Fernandez and held a moment of silence:
Kudos to Ortiz for doing the right thing.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer RBI in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.