Jun 27, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Alex Rios (15) questions umpire Fieldin Culbreth (25) on a called third strike in the second inning of a MLB baseball game with the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
2. Right Fielder Alex Rios
The Kansas City Royals signed 34-year-old Alex Rios to fill their right field vacancy in place of free-agent Nori Aoki. The team hoped that Rios would provide power that the slap-hitting Aoki lacked.
Instead, Rios has been a complete bust.
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After hitting well in spring-training and the first week of the season, Rios has wallowed after returning from a broken hand. He’s slashing a horrific .238/.266/.288 with a grand total of 1 home run in 168 plate appearances.
He’s making Nori Aoki look like Paul Bunyon in retrospect.
Alex Rios defensive metrics are mixed. He’s posted a -4 Defensive Runs Saved in 2015, a -0.5 DEF, but comes in with a favorable 1.5 Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR). By the eye test, however, Rios has looked limited in the field. Of course, he suffers by comparison on a team with defensive superstars like Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon, and Jarrod Dyson.
Don’t be at all surprised if Dayton Moore brings in help to address his right field problem. Right now, the KC Royals have what amount to two, right-handed black holes in the lineup in Omar Infante and Alex Rios. That’s one too many for an offense, and team, that has World Series aspirations.
Possible solutions include the above-mentioned Marlon Byrd, Milwaukee outfielders Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gomez, and—if you’d like to dream a bit—Justin Upton, or Oakland super-utility player Ben Zobrist.
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