Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas made an early exit from Monday’s 6-2 victory over the Marlins with tightness in his left calf muscle. He did not play Tuesday, sat out again on Wednesday and might not be ready to return to action for another several days.
Royals manager Ned Yost told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star after Wednesday afternoon’s 5-2 loss to Miami that Moustakas isn’t making very much progress and that the “best-case scenario” would have him available for a pinch-hit appearance by Saturday or Sunday in Detroit. A retroactive stint on the 15-day disabled list has not been ruled out.
Moustakas, 24, is hitting .232/.290/.367 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI in 103 games this season for the Royals, who are currently 7 1/2 games back of the Tigers in the American League Central standings.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.