KC Royals manager Ned Yost gave struggling second baseman Omar Infante the dreaded “vote-of-confidence” Wednesday afternoon. Yost told MLB.com reported Jeffrey Flanagan that he was not going to bench Infante:
"“Not going to happen,” Yost said. “Omar Infante is our second baseman. He’ll be fine.”"
Fans all over Twitter have been calling for the Kansas City Royals to replace Infante with utility infielder Christian Colon:
Even I joined the fun by writing that the KC Royals should bench Omar Infante on June 1.
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It’s not as if Kansas City Royals fans have been impatient. Infante is batting a horrendous .222/.232/.315 for an adjusted on base plus slugging of 51 (49% worse than a league average hitter) through the first two months of the 2015 season.
In fact, Infante really hasn’t hit well ever since joining the KC Royals. Omar Infante only batted .252/.295/.337 in 2014 for a .632 on base plus slugging, which was 23% worse than a league average hitter.
Of course, none of that makes any difference to Ned Yost. He told Flanagan about the possibility of benching Infante:
"“We don’t do that,” Yost said. “We stay with our guys. We’ll give him a full opportunity to get out of this.”"
Yost considered a year-and-a-third of non production nothing more than a cold streak:
"“Guys are going to go through this,” Yost said. “Guys will cool down, then heat up.“He’s gotten cool, just like everyone else.”"
I suppose the KC Royals have around 32 million reasons to keep Infante in the lineup, after signing him to a 4-year, $32 million deal before the 2014 season. But, the sad reality is that he’s been just as bad as the guys that caused general manager Dayton Moore to resort to the free agent market.
Jeffrey Flanagan, however, patronized fans in his article by implying that they are fickle:
"Meanwhile, Colon appears to have become the fans’ new Johnny Giavotella — the poor kid who can’t get a full-time opportunity. What’s interesting about that is fans howled at the Royals for selecting Colon over White Sox ace Chris Sale in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft. Yet now, Colon, who was selected with the No. 4 overall pick before Sale at No. 13, is viewed as a savior at second base."
Recognizing that Chicago ace Chris Sale would have been a better pick than Christian Colon doesn’t mean that Colon can’t be better than Omar Infante’s .612 OPS in 690 at bats with with KC Royals.
The 26-year-old Christian Colon has been a .306/.359/.398 hitter in 119 career plate appearances for the KC Royals. If Colon hits anything close to the standard he’s set in limited play, he’d be an improvement over Infante.
Why not find out?