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Alex Gordon is apparently too good for the Royals

Jun 14, 2010, 1:46 PM EDT

Alex Gordon has been destroying Triple-A pitching since his demotion last month, hitting .359 with 10 homers and a 1.128 OPS in 38 games. He ranks second among Pacific Coast League hitters in batting average (.359), on-base percentage (.486), slugging percentage (.641), and OPS (1.128).
Meanwhile, the Royals are 27-37 and rank 12th in the league with a measly .668 OPS from their left fielders, with 34-year-old Scott Podsednik starting 59 of 64 games there. Normally that would equal an easy decision when it comes to calling Gordon back up and handing him the everyday job in left field, but since the Royals are the Royals they’ll instead leave him at Triple-A.
General manager Dayton Moore revealed over the weekend that the Royals have no plans to recall Gordon any time soon, and manager Ned Yost later echoed those comments:

I don’t want to bring Alex up here right now if he’s not going to play. And we’ve got enough outfielders with [Rick] Ankiel coming up, and that’s going to create another player to put in the mix. To me, he’s better off down there playing every day until something opens up.

Agreed, but here’s a craaaaaaaaazy idea: How about bringing Gordon up and playing him?
Podsednik is a 34-year-old corner outfielder with a .340 slugging percentage and Ankiel is a (currently injured) 30-year-old with a putrid .675 OPS in 141 games since the start of last season. Why in the world would a rebuilding team rather give regular playing time to either of them instead of a 26-year-old former No. 2 overall pick who has been crushing Triple-A pitching for the past six weeks?
So far this season 12 different Royals hitters have logged at least 50 plate appearances and Billy Butler is the only one younger than the 26-year-old Gordon. Meanwhile, Gordon and fellow 26-year-old Kila Ka’aihue rank second and third in the PCL in OPS. Perhaps Moore has abandoned all hope of putting together a winner in Kansas City and is instead focusing on building the Triple-A squad into a PCL contender?
What a mess.

  1. Not Jason B - Jun 16, 2010 at 12:51 AM

    Alex Gordon is learning a new position in AAA, while not burning major league service time, for a team that everyone agrees is going to lose 90 games no matter who plays left field. If everyone agrees it doesn’t make any difference who plays left field, why the outrage?
    Meanwhile, the outfielders in KC, who everyone agrees (most likely including Royals management)won’t be around on the next good KC team, are getting major league ABs with the hope that some desparate team in a pennant race finds itself in need of another outfielder, and offers KC something that might help the next good KC team.
    There is little benefit to having Alex Gordon learn to play left field, while burning service time, on a team that isn’t much better-if at all-with him on it.
    Viewed from the perspective of KC’s management team, rather than a 20-something with a computer and a forum, but zero actual experience running ANYthing, it makes a lot of sense.

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