May 10, 2010, 1:45 PM EDT
When the Royals called up Kila Ka’aihue from Triple-A last week I wondered if they’d actually play him, guessing that the answer would be no because … well, they are the Royals after all.
Sure enough, Ka’aihue has started just once in five games since the call-up. Now, in fairness to the Royals they have Billy Butler at first base and Jose Guillen at designated hitter, so finding at-bats for Ka’aihue isn’t the easiest thing in the world.
However, in fairness to logic the Royals are 11-21 and have zero chance of even finishing .500 this season, so playing the 26-year-old Ka’aihue makes far more long-term sense than starting Guillen and Scott Podsednik every day. Unlike those two 34-year-olds, Ka’aihue might actually be part of the Royals’ next above-.500 team (assuming, of course, that such a team will eventually exist).
If any team is in position to give a 26-year-old career minor leaguer a chance to show whether he can hit big-league pitching it’s certainly the Royals and Ka’aihue has hit .283 with a .426 on-base percentage, .534 slugging percentage, and 35 percent more walks than strikeouts over the past three seasons at Double-A and Triple-A.
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