Hope probably helps drive the KC Royals’ decisions about Jorge Soler.
If Kansas City fans have learned anything from General Manager Dayton Moore’s employment practices and preferences, it’s that he rarely shuts the door. Moore seems more willing than most to stick by struggling players and to hand out second chances (see Greg Holland, Wade Davis, Alcides Escobar, Terrance Gore, Jarrod Dyson, and the plethora of pitchers in disrepair he signs).
Moore, whose primary responsibility is to assemble teams and talent Mike Matheny can manage to success, isn’t about to give up on Jorge Soler. Soler worked hard, at times through injuries, to vindicate the club when his first two seasons in Kansas City didn’t quite justify trading Wade Davis to the Cubs for him; hard work and perseverance are commodities Moore clearly holds dear.
For his team’s sake and Soler’s, Moore undoubtedly hopes Soler soon breaks out of this season’s horrendous slump, one that’s permitted him to rarely push his average above the dreaded Mendoza Line—he’s finished only 13 of his 45 games at .200 or better. A sustained burst of production could help the KC Royals close back in on the division lead they occupied before their recent 11-game losing streak.
And there is some reason for hope. Soler provided much of it May 11 when he went 2-for-5 with a homer, double and six RBIs against Detroit. His 24 RBIs, a surprising total considering his other numbers, tie him for third best on the club with Whit Merrifield (Carlos Santana leads with 31 and Salvador Perez has 27). His 11 doubles lead the Royals and half of his 28 hits have been for extra bases.
Expect the Royals’ hopes for Soler to sustain his playing time.
Jorge Soler is mired in a season-long slump. But don’t expect the KC Royals to give up on him just yet.