The KC Royals need to move on from Brandon Moss—and soon.
I’m sure KC Royals designated hitter Brandon Moss is a really nice guy. He seems to have many good qualities that people look for when describing good people. I would hazard that his wife and kids love him, that he’s good for the community and the sort of God-fearing Christian we all hope to bring into this world.
So I hope all those people will take the next 500 or so words with a big pound of salt.
Brandon Moss is no longer a good baseball player. This is not a groundbreaking revelation, but it is one of those undisputed facts Capt. Ross was so fond of referencing in A Few Good Men. To wit:
- Moss has not achieved 1.0 WAR since 2014
- Moss has not hit above .240 since 2013.
- In 14 career postseason games, Moss has hit a balmy .171.
- Speaking of the postseason, the last contender that regularly featured Brandon Moss in their lineup was the 2014 A’s… who got put out in the Wild Card… by the KC Royals.
- Since 2013, Brandon Moss has zero Defensive Runs Saved. This has nothing to do with his status as the KC Royals erstwhile designated hitter, but it’s kind of charming to know that the vortex between acceptable and unacceptable outfield play is Brandon Moss.
- Not to be ageist, but Brandon Moss is 33 years old. His best years are comfortably in the rearview mirror.
To recap: he can’t hit, he can’t field and he’s old.
That’s a heckuva trifecta.
For a bad team, a DH hitting .180 wouldn’t be much of a concern. You give him 450 at-bats, kick back and start scouting your top-eight pick for next season. As the KC Royals seem convinced that they can compete in 2017—and given both the recent run of success on the West Coast and the overall putridity of the AL Central, it’s become difficult to disagree with this assessment—a DH who can’t hit his body weight is a problem.
The trouble for the KC Royals and Ned Yost is that options are scarce. Drew Butera is needed to give Salvador Perez a breather and as insurance in case something happens to Salvy. Ramon Torres and Cheslor Cuthbert are… bad. The job falls to Moss by default. What other play does Ned have here?
By my count, he has one: marching up to Dayton Moore’s office and demanding reinforcements.
There is an option in Omaha. Jorge Soler has torn the cover off the ball since his demotion, hitting 10 home runs in 76 at-bats. He’s also struck out 23 times in those 76 at-bats, which is part of the reason he was sent to Omaha in the first place.
(There’s always the chance that Dayton spends the All-Star break getting opposing GM’s drunk and talking them into Moss. “Yeah, no, he’s right on the ball, he’s had some bad luck, he’s great in the clubhouse and in the community. We just want to get Soler some AB’s, all we need is a mid-level prospect in return… can I get you another whiskey sour?”)
GMDM has a choice to make. The “We can still contend with this core, dammit,” stuff is true—as long as the Central remains what it is, the team with a ring will always have better than a puncher’s chance. But he’s going to have to figure out a way to make his lineup whole. Brandon Moss isn’t going to get it done.