It was a shocker to exactly zero Kansas City Royals fans when they heard the news of Mike Moustakas‘ demotion to the minor leagues. I, among many others in the KC media, feared that Moose needed immediate success to stay in MLB once second baseman Omar Infante was sent to the disabled list. Since that time, Moustakas went 1-for-13 with four strikeouts before being sent to Omaha.
This just once again confirms what fans fear most about Moose; a hitch in a guy’s swing can be removed, but fixing a problem that’s wholly mental is much more difficult. Whether or not Moose will bounce back is the question but that means in the majors for a significant period of time. A great stretch of hitting in the Royals’ farm system won’t cut it. Fans have seen Moustakas succeed before, in spurts, during spring training, but never when it matters most. To make a real, long-lasting return to the major league club, Moose needs to get right mentally so he can perform when it really matters.
He hit .429 this spring. He had a .768 slugging percentage. Those numbers shrunk to .152 and .320 respectively in the regular season before being demoted. When his production actually meant something, he recorded seven more strikeouts than hits. But hey, Moose had three hits and a homer in his first three games as a Storm Chaser. Of course he did.
I expect him to tweak his approach in Omaha and put up solid enough numbers to earn another chance, as most fans probably do. Sadly, my scorned heart won’t allow me to expect success for him in the bigs unless he can get it together mentally and emotionally before being called up yet again.