With the exception of the second base position, the Kansas City Royals‘ starting infield looks very well set. But, the devil is in the details. In an ongoing series, we will look at the individuals in camp who are fighting for a spot in the Royals’ infield, and make a prediction as to where they will be come Opening Day.
Chris Getz is one of two candidates for the starting second base job for the Royals. He suffered a star-crossed 2012: he had the best year of his career at the plate, but was forced to share time with the defensively inept Yuniesky Betancourt for much of the season. Just after the latter got his marching orders and Getz was given the full-time job, he broke a thumb and missed the rest of the season. This year, he once again has to fight for an everyday place.
Prediction: His experience and ever-increasing skill with the bat should win the day, and we should see him playing second while probably batting ninth on Opening Day.
Johnny Giavotella is the man with whom Getz is competing for that starting job at second. Giavotella was in the running a year ago as well, but his defense was so poor that he lost out and started the year at Triple-A. He only got his chance later in the year after Betancourt had been sent away and Getz was injured. He did enough then, however, to make sure that Getz has to fight for his job back. Interestingly, in the limited time he had last year, Giavotella actually looked better with the glove than with the bat – the reverse of his usual skill set.
Prediction: Lost out to Getz in 2012, and I expect he will do again in 2013. But he won’t be in the minors this time – he’ll be keeping the bench warm and trying to learn better defensive technique from Getz.