KC Royals: Christian Colon Missed Chance To Seize Second Base

jviril
Mar 7, 2016; Mesa, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick (22) gets tagged out by Kansas City Royals shortstop Christian Colon (24) in the third inning during a spring training game at HoHoKam Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 7, 2016; Mesa, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick (22) gets tagged out by Kansas City Royals shortstop Christian Colon (24) in the third inning during a spring training game at HoHoKam Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /
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KC Royals manager Ned Yost announced that Christian Colon and incumbent Omar Infante would battle for the second base job this spring. Colon has missed a golden opportunity to get a leg up with Infante missing the first eight days of spring training recovering from elbow surgery this winter.

Infante’s slow recovery allowed Christian Colon a clear field to show what he could do. However, Colon responded by slashing a horrendous .000/.190/.000 slash line in eight games and 17 at bats.

Christian Colon picked a horrible time to go 0-fer.

Fortunately for Colon, Infante is also hitless in two games since making his spring debut March 9. Even so, the 34-year-old Infante holds the advantage of a long track record as a major league starter and the front office’s reluctance to pay $17 million in guaranteed money to a bench warmer over the next two seasons.

The KC Royals should consider Infante’s contract a sunk cost, but personnel men have an understandable reluctance to eat free-agent contracts. No one likes to admit they made a bad decision.

If Colon continues to struggle at the plate, he’ll make manager Ned Yost’s decision easy because Colon needs to win the job. If both Colon and Infante play poorly during spring, Infante is almost certain to open the season at second base.

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I would expect Colon to still make the roster as the utility infielder, but he could get bumped from the Kansas City bench with a strong performance from prospects Raul Aldaberto Mondesi , Ramon Torres, or Orlando Calixte.

Yet, I believe those three young players would have to tear up Surprise and seize the second base job outright to make the Kansas City roster. Otherwise. the organization would prefer those young players to get regular at bats in the minors, while Colon fills the bench role in KC.

With almost 2,400 minor league plate appearances, and over 1,200 at AAA Omaha, Colon has plenty of experience. I can’t imagine that he’s going to develop much more in AAA. Colon needs to show that he can hold down a full-time job in the major leagues for his career to progress to something beyond a utility role.

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Right now, the clock is ticking for Christian Colon. Given that the KC Royals return most of their World Series winning lineup in 2016, Ned Yost can’t afford to let players develop at the major league level. Yost needs to maximize production from every roster spot to cope with an American League Central  that most pundits believe will be much more competitive in 2016.

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