Apr 8, 2010, 12:48 AM EDT
Here’s Royals manager Trey Hillman on Mitch Maier, as quoted in the Kansas City Star on March 30.
“Full package. Honestly, no reservation saying this: I know I’ve never seen this much development at this level in one year for a position player.”
And here’s Mitch Maier’s batting line two games into the 2010 season:
.000/.000/.000 in 0 AB.
Yeah, it’s just two games. But it could well be a third on Thursday since Maier is a left-handed hitter and the Tigers are starting Dontrelle Willis after going with consecutive righties to open the season.
(Although, maybe not. Maier has actually hit lefties considerably better than righties during his major league tenure.)
Now, I don’t think Maier is going to have much of a career in the majors. He’s 27, and he got his extended chance last year and hit .243/.333/.331 in 341 at-bats. I’m perfectly fine with the Royals not playing him.
But what on earth is Hillman spewing in Kansas City? If he thinks Maier’s remarkable .475/.530/.814 line this spring is a sign of genuine improvement, then it’s mind-boggingly stupid that he’s holding him out of action in favor of Jose Guillen, Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel.
That’s part of what I’ve found particularly disgusting about the Royals these last 10 years or so. Some teams gamble and lose big. The Royals, though, go for the safe choice (cough*Jason Kendall*cough) and just keep losing big anyway.
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