If the story sounds familiar, it is because Kansas City Royals fans have heard it all before. The story is about a player who began the season with the parent club, only to find himself demoted to triple-A about a month later to find his hitting stroke. Is it Mike Moustakas? No. Does the name Alex Gordon ring a bell?
Gordon began his major league career in 2007 with the usual peaks and valleys of a rookie, but he finished the season strong and set a new rookie record for doubles. Gordon hit 31 home runs in the first two seasons of his career before slumps took over and caused him to spend parts of the next two seasons in Omaha.
Then came 2011, the year Gordon put it all together and scored 101 runs on 158 hits with a .303 batting average. He hasn’t been back to Omaha since.
What does this have to do with Moustakas? Those two were the heroes of Monday’s 6-0 shutout of the St. Louis Cardinals. They combined for two runs, two hits and three runs batted in. Moustakas had been banished to triple-A after a horrid slump to start the year, but an injury to Danny Valencia caused the team to bring the struggling slugger back to the majors.
The year Gordon hit the jackpot was the year Moustakas began his major league career in Kansas City. He rose to the occasion in 2012 and then slowly slid into oblivion. Sound familiar, Gordon fans?
Moustakas has plenty of time to pull it all together and go on to a long and prosperous career in Kansas City. He has been told by coaches to forget the first month of the season ever happened. If Moustakas can do that, then maybe there is hope for the slugger yet.
You have to wonder if Moustakas has sought Gordon’s advice on how to handle the peaks and dips of the major leagues. You also have to wonder if Moustakas has asked Gordon when the light bulb turned on in his head. When was the moment Gordon put it all together and didn’t look back?
The sooner Moustakas does that and shakes off the rust, the sooner he can realize success in the major leagues. Moustakas had a successful Monday against the Cardinals, but one game doesn’t make a season. It may eventually turn around a career, however.