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.

Rafael Devers won’t visit White House with Red Sox

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The World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.

However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”

Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.

Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.

Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.

No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.