For the KC Royals, it really is time to move on from Bubba Starling.
Bubba Starling is the feel-good story that somehow never made us feel quite as good as we had hoped. A multi-sport prep star who probably would have starred at quarterback for the University of Nebraska had he not signed with the Royals (he’d already inked to play for the Cornhuskers when he turned his full attention to baseball), and a hometown-type kid who grew up near Kansas City, Starling just hasn’t lived up to baseball expectations that may have been too high.
Starling plays superb defense but doesn’t hit. Although he had a few moments at the plate in the minors, his 91-game .204/246/.298 big league slash and lack of power (just five homers) strongly suggest major league pitchers have him outmatched and overpowered.
And there isn’t much, if any, room left for him in a Royals outfield packed with young talent; it’s yet another reason why Kansas City should be ready to part ways with him.
Starling has no options left, so the KC Royals can’t demote him to the minors unless he clears waivers. Another club might take a chance on him; if none do, don’t be surprised if the Royals bring him back for one more chance.
The Royals need to make room on their 40-man roster to protect prospects from the Rule 5 draft. They have plenty of choices.