Don’t look now, but with the expanded September rosters, the Royals currently have four catchers in the dugout. Why would a team need to have four catchers? Well, this is the time of year to get a first hand observation and evaluation of potential future talent.
Adam Moore made quite an impact in his Royals debut. He was tabbed to catch Jake Odorizzi in his big league debut last Sunday. This was primarily because he’d been catching Jake in Omaha for a good chunk of the summer. After leading Odorizzi through three scoreless innings against the Indians, Moore stepped to the plate for his first Royals at-bat in the bottom of the third.
He promptly deposited the third pitch he saw over the Left Field wall.
He became just the fourth Royal ever to accomplish the feat in their first at-bat. He was the first to do it since Calvin Pickering back in 2004. We all know how his career panned out. I actually got to witness Pickering’s debut & can remember thinking that he was a monster who was going to hit a million home runs for the Royals. He ended up hitting eight.
That bomb last week was Moore’s first major league home run since September 7, 2010. In all fairness, it was his first major league at-bat since April 6, 2011.
He also walked, grounded out, and struck out to go 1-3 on the afternoon. Not a bad debut, but he hasn’t seen the field since. I’m of the opinion that if you call them up, you play them. At this point, we’ve seen enough of Salvador Perez to know that he’s a stud, and after missing the first part of the season with an injury, it might not be a bad idea to give the kid some rest. We also know everything we need to know about Bryan Pena. We know that he’s a servicable backup, but not much of a first baseman. Either way, if Pena, Pina, and Moore are going to compete to backup Salvy in 2013, this is a good chance to start the competition.
Manny Pina saw some time in Kansas City last summer. He caught four games in August and had 15 ABs. He had two hits (including a double) in his debut, and then went back to Omaha for the remainder of the season. After a knee injury in February of this year, he spent most of the season at AA Northwest Arkansas. He hit .260 with 5 HR. Before spring training, he was expected to compete for the backup job.
As far as Adam Moore goes, he caught for Odorizzi last week – will he catch for him again on Saturday? I sure hope so. I’m interested to see some more at-bats out of him so we can see if it’s worth trying to keep him around for next year. With just five games left in the season, it will be interesting who gets the starts behind the dish.