Gage’s turn next:
I can remember two main feelings I had when I heard the news about Alex’s demotion. One was “oh please don’t let them make him a pitcher next.” The other was that it both made sense and was completely illogical at the same time. It made sense because putting Alex in a place that might make him more comfortable and allow him to settle in at the plate would be a great thing. If things aren’t working out for you, then a change is needed to spark some productivity. That much is clear. However, I also had this feeling that it was an absolutely bizarre decision. Alex’s career had been mangled by injuries, which arguably never allowed him to settle in and hit. It’s impossible to prove that this was the reason for his setback, but making a position change didn’t seem to me as a helpful change if injuries were a big part of the problem. I was sort of torn about the move, and it gave me the thought that it could be a precursor to a deal or trade. It seemed like it was possibly a sign of the team’s lack of faith in Alex’s progression as a player. That was the thought in the back of my head, but it was never backed up by anything Dayton said or any hints from the team’s behavior.
I think I’ve moved more into the first camp than the second. Alex needed a change to be able to open himself up to his greater ability. It seems to me that he’s more comfortable now than before based on when I saw him play here in Nashville, but I think it’ll take the offseason and Spring Training to really sort out if that’s true or not. Either way, I’m more accepting of the move now than before. As for the trade idea, it has surfaced that they are open to trading Alex. This has gone to the point where they’ve received calls and inquiries about him, but who knows how much further it’s progressed. I would suspect that a lot of the interest comes from teams looking for a third baseman and who think the Royals may not have a great interest in keeping him after moving him to left field. I have no idea if this is true, but everything Dayton and Ned have said lends to the reasoning that the Royals are committed to Alex’s emergence. Of course, what they say and what they do are two very different things.