Jun 17, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) at bat against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals Should Consider Sending Eric Hosmer to Omaha

Pretty much since the moment they arrived at the major league level, the Royals have been waiting for Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas to become the type of players they were expected to be. Both have displayed flashes of their potential at the major league level, Hosmer more so than Moustakas, yet neither has consistently been able to put together a full season of production for Kansas City. Hosmer has come the closest, putting together a stellar final four months of the 2013 season which made it appear as though he was ready to turn the corner. Moustakas also showed signs that he could be the player the Royals had hoped for, performing well in the Venezuelan Winter League before hammering the ball in Spring Training.

Instead, the 2014 has, generally, been a cavalcade of horrors for both Hosmer and Moustakas offensively. Moustakas struggled badly enough where he was banished to Omaha for eight games, in an attempt to correct his swing. Prior to Monday’s game, Moustakas had produced a .195/.259/.385 batting line with ten home runs. Hosmer, meanwhile, has produced a .254/.299/.349 batting line with only four home runs.

However, since being recalled from the Storm Chasers, Mike Moustakas has been closer to the players that the Royals had hoped for. Over his past 29 games, Moustakas has posted a .250/.308/.469 batting line with six home runs. That type of production is almost exactly what the Royals are looking for from their slugging third baseman. Eric Hosmer, meanwhile, hit at only a .195/.240/.295  in June, striking out 24 times in 113 at bats.

For some reason, it took the Royals to stick with Moustakas for over 1500 at bats before they sent him back to Omaha for a refresher course. Even though Hosmer has had more success overall in his major league career, he still has not produced at a level that is needed from a major league first baseman. It is perfectly fine if Hosmer turns out to be a doubles hitting machine, along the lines of a Mark Grace or a John Olerud. Their ability to drive the ball into the gaps and hit over .300 made both players extremely valuable commodities in the lineup.

Instead, much like Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer also appears to have that ‘sacred cow’ designation. No matter how much he struggles, his spot in the lineup remains safe. Ned Yost may prize Hosmer’s defense, just as Moustakas is prized for his glove, but that can only take a team so far. Despite what we saw in the World Cup, a 0-0 score in baseball does not result in a point and a chance to move on.

With the lack of power in the middle of the Royals lineup, they need both Hosmer and Moustakas to begin driving the ball and to begin to be the players they were expected to be. After his brief banishment to AAA, Moustakas has come back and performed to the level that the Royals need. Perhaps Hosmer needs the same wakeup call.

Mike Moustakas has been much improved since he was sent down to Omaha. At this point, it may be time to see if the same treatment cures Eric Hosmer.

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Tags: Eric Hosmer Kansas City Royals Mike Moustakas

  • jimfetterolf

    Domino effect on defense, as Hosmer saves a lot of errors by Escobar and Moustakas.

  • Ardent Shepherd

    Drop him in the lineup. If that doesn’t help things, I think that he will have to be sent down to get his head on straight.

    • KCisKing

      Hey, if you actually paid attention he is the middle of a 9 game hitting streak, yeah let’s drop a guy who is on a roll.

      • catfishjohn

        To be fair, tonight is the first night in nearly a month that Hosmer actually swung the bat with authority. I’m not just talking about the home run, I’m talking about looking like a guy that knew what the hell he was doing at the plate. Good to see tonight. It’s been missing for quite some time.

        • KCisKing

          He has been hitting the ball hard recently but right at people and even before tonight, he was on a eight game hitting streak. It is just dumb to suggest sending a guy during an 8 game hitting streak (and I think 5 walks in those games also). So it isn’t ‘fair’ to say he just starting hitting tonight.

  • Tyler_KC_Fan

    If you move Hosmer to Omaha you take a huge hit defensively. Butler is struggling offensively and is equivalent to a high schooler when it comes to his defense ability. Ibanez isn’t near the defender or offense threat as Hosmer. So if you send Hosmer down, who are you playing at 1B?

    The reason Hosmer and Moose are seemingly untouchable players is because they fit with how the team is made. They are Gold Glove caliber defenders and the team is bulit on defense and pitching. If Hosmer was an average defender then fine. But he just got done winning a Gold Glove last year. We don’t have anyone to recreate that type of defense. Plus, Hosmer was the best hitter the second half of the year last year. He is notorious for struggling to start and then catching fire. Maybe he will again.

    • Stan Colbert

      Hosmers’ hitting is atrocious but he does need to stay. The worst thing is the season is sliding through the fingers primarily because our “stars” are not shining.

      • Tyler_KC_Fan

        Which I 100% understand. But who will replace him at 1B? Who is doing better offensively that is will make up for the decline in defense? Butler isn’t doing any better and Ibanez hasn’t had a hit since the second game he played. We don’t have anyone in Omaha that is ready at 1B either. That’s the only thing. If you take away the defensive beast that is Hosmer, the offense has to be a lot better. So it’s just a matter of who is actually better than Hosmer all around at 1B and offensively that we have?

        • Stan Colbert

          Actually, Butler is hitting better. Obviously, something is not working. The offensive numbers of Butler,(power) Hosmer,(hitting,power) Moose,(average) even Gordon(consistency, power), the bench(avg.) is the reason KC didn’t make playoffs last year and is making it very difficult.

          • Tyler_KC_Fan

            I don’t think you can blame them for last years. Davis was a starter and was doing terrible. Mendoza a well, doing terrible. Frenchy was still playing RF everyday, Getz/Johnson were playing 2B full time as well. So blaming Hosmer, Gordon, Moose, Butler and whoever else you are blaming the non playoff run on isn’t all that fair.

            But who are you playing at 1B if you send Hosmer to Omaha? Are you really okay with Butler playing 1B over Hosmer?

          • Stan Colbert

            Was that a game, or what? I would keep Hos. I probably would have dropped him in the lineup. I agree the first half was much different than the second last year. However, through the second half tthe lineup didn’t bat very well. Hos was the brightest most consistent hitter. Look at tonight’s game. There were a number of opportunities to move a runner by hitting to the right side. For the most part these were missed. No doubt TB had something to do with that, but situational hitting like that should be part of the makeup of a playoff team. If the talent was marginal on this team I would be happy as a clam. This team is very talented, no doubt! The training and discipline I question.

  • Bear Brinkman

    Omaha no but I sure get sick of watching him take strikes down the middle then swing at outside almost in the dirt junk for strike 3. Move him down with Billy. And that swinging at low junk seems to be catching lately. ….Sal,Alex, Cain all doing it. Billy too. Must be time for a new hitting coach????

  • KCisKing

    That is one of the dumbest articles I have read in awhile. The Royals are pushing to make the playoffs so you want to send your GOLD GLOVE 1rst baseman to Triple A and replace him with WHO?? And Hosmer has been hitting lately, not much for power yet but hitting and if you look at this splits by month, he always struggles early in the season but tears it up July, Aug Sept.

  • KCisKing

    Yeah let’s send the guy who has an OBP of .485 for July with an OPS of 1.002 for July down to Omaha, nice timing on the article.