Welcome to Part One of the Royals Mailbag! While we do our best to keep you all up to date with any happenings involving our beloved Royals, there may still be questions that you have that we have not gotten to. Hopefully, these occasional mailbags will be able to get any questions you have answered. If you do have any questions that you want us to feature in upcoming mailbags, feel free to leave them in the comments or post them to our Facebook page.
Our first question comes from Jim Fetterolf, who provided two different questions. First, he asks “How short is Moose’s leash?”
At this point, it would have to be assumed that Mike Moustakas would be on a short leash. Danny Valencia, despite Dayton Moore’s claims otherwise, appears to have been acquired to set up a platoon situation with Moustakas. Hunter Dozier and Cheslor Cuthbert both may be on the cusp of seeing major league action by sometime in 2015 as well. It would seem that if Moustakas is going to produce at the major league level, it is going to have to be this season.
The Royals are also well protected in case he does not. Valencia and Emilio Bonifacio can handle third base, although they may not be as capable defensively. Moustakas may get most of the first half to prove that he can become the hitter they envisioned, but he is likely running out of time. That leash could be getting shorter with each passing game.
Next, Jim inquired about the Royals outfield. To be specific, he asked “Will the Royals keep five outfielders?”
In a way, the Royals actually have six outfielders. Aside from the expected starting outfield of Alex Gordon, Norichika Aoki and Lorenzo Cain, they have Justin Maxwell, Jarrod Dyson and Emilio Bonifacio. While Bonifacio may not be an every day outfielder, he does provide a valuable depth option that could force either Maxwell or Dyson from the roster. Both Maxwell and Dyson have an offensive skill set similar to someone on the roster – Valencia is a right handed power bat like Maxwell, and Dyson is a fast slap hitter like Bonifacio.
The biggest problem would be finding room to keep both Maxwell and Dyson on the roster. Bonifacio, Valencia and whoever wins the backup catcher spot will take up three of the bench spots. With a traditional twelve man pitching staff, that leaves on spot open. Chances are, either Dyson or Maxwell will end up being traded due to a lack of room on the roster. Having a player such as Bonifacio will certainly help the Royals, but may cost one of the two outfielders their roster spot.
Finally, we have a question from Tim Peters in regards to second base. He asks “Are we really going to have a true second baseman?”
After years of Chris Getz and watching Johnny Giavotella being unable to seize the position, it definitely seemed as though having a viable second baseman was a luxury found outside of Kansas City. Emilio Bonifacio solidified the position after he came over from the Blue Jays, but he is more of a utility player than an every day second baseman. Second base was an unquestioned hole heading into the offseason.
Now, the Royals have Omar Infante locked up for four years to man second. He is the perfect compliment to the way that the Royals offense is constructed – players that can get on base and make contact. Infante is also a solid defensive second baseman, further strengthening a defense that could be one of the best in baseball by season’s end.
Yes Tim, as strange as it may seem, the Royals are really going to have a true second baseman.
Thank you for the questions. Part Two of the mailbag will be posted tomorrow.