Jul 9, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert (19) makes a catch to end the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 8-3. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The Kansas City Royals could use some infield help after third baseman Mike Moustakas has sort of suffered a second-half crash, and second baseman Omar Infante has never really gotten going at the plate all season.
This need will depend on whether manager Ned Yost decides to use Ben Zobrist as an infielder, or outfielder, when Alex Gordon returns. In short, who sits down: Omar Infante, or Alex Rios?
Cuthbert has enjoyed a strong season at AAA Omaha this season. After hitting .259 in the first half, Cuthbert has upped his season slash line to .280/.343/.423. More importantly, Cheslor Cuthbert looked good in during a couple of brief call-up to Kansas City. He simply looked like a guy with the tools to succeed in the major-league when he hit .240/.269/.360 in 26 Kansas City Royals at bats.
The big thing that could bring Cuthbert to Kansas City in September, and maybe earn him a roster spot for the playoffs, is that he’s a right hand hitter that primarily plays third base. He could fill in for Moose against a tough lefty in a critical situation.
Colon is a 25-year-old middle infielder whom the KC Royals drafted 4th overall in 2010. Now unlikely to justify his draft status, he is a versatile player who can play both short, second, and third base.
Christian Colon has hit fairly well in brief appearances with the Kansas City Royals over the last two seasons (.276/.331/.366 in 135 plate appearances). Yet, he’s never been able to stick in Kansas City. Last season, Dayton Moore replaced him on the World Series roster with Jayson Nix.
That move suggests the Kansas City Royals front office still doesn’t have great confidence in Colon, especially when you consider that he’s seen little time with the big club despite Omar Infante hitting a pathetic .216/.232/.298 this season.
There are a few more candidates that could see the field for the Kansas City Royals come September. The team might like Whit Merrifield‘s versatility (but, why bring him up when you’ve got the ultimate spare part in Ben Zobrist), or think 22-year-old Miguel Almonte is better suited to play Brandon Finnegan in 2015 than Kyle Zimmer. Outfielder Reymond Fuentes might get the call simply because he’s on the 40-man roster, rather than Brett Eibner or Jose Martinez.
Exactly who gets the call will depend a lot on how Ned Yost wishes to construct his playoff roster. I could very much see Yost dropping fifth starter Jeremy Guthrie and the unproductive Alex Rios, which could open up more opportunity to the above players.