We all saw this coming. Despite having more chances than he actually deserved, Mike Moustakas continued to have a spot on the Kansas City Royals roster. It did not matter that he was hitting under Nori Aoki‘s body weight for the entirety of the 2014 season – Moustakas was going to remain with the Royals. So spake Ned Yost, who stated under no uncertain terms that he would not be sending Moustakas to Omaha.
However, after watching Danny Valencia prove that there are such things as third basemen that can hit as members of the 2014 Royals, logic prevailed and Moustakas was finally been sent down. According to the Royals official Twitter account, Moustakas will be replaced on the roster by Jimmy Paredes on Friday.
#Royals announce that they have optioned 3B Mike Moustakas to Omaha, and will recall INF/OF Jimmy Paredes prior to Friday’s game.
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) May 22, 2014
Aside from the simple fact that such a demotion is probably over a year too late in the making, this could be the best thing to happen to Mike Moustakas. Now, in Omaha, Moustakas can work on rediscovering his swing and his ability without the pressure of the major leagues. He can focus on finding the power that, aside from that one glorious week in April, has seemingly deserted him. Moustakas can attempt to get back to the form that made him one of the top prospects in baseball during his minor league career, and someone who was expected to be a cornerstone for the future.
Such a demotion is not a death knell for Moustakas either. Alex Gordon struggled initially at the major league level, and was demoted to Omaha for 68 games in 2010. While Gordon did struggle upon his return that season, he became the Alex Gordon that we have grown accustomed to beginning the following year, garnering MVP votes and becoming a true force in the Royals lineup.
Perhaps such a turnaround is possible for Mike Moustakas as well. Still only 25 years of age, he is actually one year younger than Gordon was at the time of his demotion. Moustakas, despite entering his fourth year in the majors, is still a young player. Although this may not be the path that the Royals expected Moustakas’s career to take, he still has plenty of time to become the hitter that they envisioned.
Mike Moustakas’s quest to find his batting stroke will now find him in Omaha. Yet, much like Alex Gordon before him, this may be exactly what Moustakas needs to be the hitter the Royals believe he can become.