There was a potential opening for Johnny Giavotella to become a major league regular. Mike Moustakas has struggled at third base this season, and Danny Valencia looked as though the Royals had considered him no more than a platoon option. Even though Giavotella was playing primarily at second base with the absence of Omar Infante, he had been playing third base in the minors. A position change once Infante was healthy would not have been out of the question.
Instead, Giavotella, aside from his game winning home run against the Seattle Mariners, once again failed during his audition. In his ten games, Giavotella had produced a .176/.216/.265 batting line. That home run was his only extra base hit, and Giavotella only walked once in his 37 plate appearances. Yet again, Giavotella failed to impress during his time in the majors, and was optioned back to Omaha yesterday, clearing room for Francisco Pena to be brought up.
This most recent failure may prove to be Johnny Giavotella’s last chance to establish himself with the Royals. For as much grief as the Royals and Ned Yost receive for their continued insistence to play Mike Moustakas despite his failures, Moustakas can at least provide value defensively. While Giavotella is not nearly as bad defensively as he is made out to be, his glovework is just not good enough to justify his continued playing time.
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With Giavotella being sent down, the Royals have kept Pedro Ciriaco at the major league level, at least for now. With Ciriaco, the Royals not only have that utility infielder, but also can have someone to play in the outfield if needed. Although Ciriaco may not be anything special, his versatility and speed can be assets at the major league level. Giavotella, at this point, has not displayed a single major league asset.
As the Royals were seemingly loath to give Johnny Giavotella his chance, he needed to perform well in this trial to get an extended chance at the major league level. Once again, Giavotella failed to do so. Now, his fate appears to be sealed as a AAAA player, someone that could shuttle back and forth between AAA and the major league level based on injuries. Chances are, Giavotella will need to head elsewhere to have another chance at the major league level.
Johnny Giavotella likely had his last chance to be a regular contributor with the Royals. Now, if he is to carve out a major league career, it is likely going to be somewhere else.