While going for a bunt in Friday’s win over the White Sox, second baseman Chris Getz suffered a fractured left thumb, left the game and, after surgery tomorrow, will be out for the season.
Getz was having his best year as a big leaguer in 2012, despite two previous trips to the disabled list during the season. His season ends with his batting average, slugging percentage and OPS all being career highs and, had he been healthy most of the year, would have likely been able to reach career highs in hits and doubles.
Instead, it’s cut short.
There hasn’t been a move to replace Getz on the roster yet, but all signs point to Johnny Giavotella replacing him. Giavotella was hitting .323/.404/.472 in Omaha. After the Royals announced that Getz would miss the rest of the year, Giavotella was pulled from Omaha’s lineup against Las Vegas. Earlier this season, Giavotella spent a month with Kansas City and hit .217/.260/.261.
The Getz versus Giavotella debate has worn on all season, going back to spring training. Giavotella didn’t take advantage of the first opportunity to win the job and went to Omaha to continue to work on his defense. He was also working back from offseason hip surgery and as the months have gotten warmer, so has his bat. With Getz performing adequately at the plate and displaying good defense, the Royals hadn’t been compelled to make a change.
Since being drafted in the second round in 2008, Giavotella has drawn questions about his defense. Despite extensive work in Triple A, he’s probably only going to be average at his very best at the position. The Royals will accept that if he hits. Despite hitting everything in the minors, he hasn’t been able to translate it to major league success and the Royals have seemed timid about giving him an opportunity to sink or swim. If he hits like many scouts think he can, he’ll be a good offensive weapon in the lineup and should balance out any problems with the glove. If he doesn’t hit, the next man in line is Christian Colon, who was recently promoted to Omaha and got seven hits in his first 17 at bats, including a double and a homer. He recently fouled a ball that hit the ground and then hit him in the eye, so he’s currently on the DL.
I see it playing out with Giavotella getting the rest of this year to see if he can hit big league pitching. If not, we may see more of the Getz/Giavotella merry-go-round while Colon spends some time in Omaha waiting to step in (assuming the Royals don’t involve Giavotella or Colon in a deal this offseason).