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Royals designate Kila Ka’aihue for assignment

Sep 21, 2011, 4:16 PM EDT

Ka'aihue_Kila

For years the Royals were unwilling to give Kila Ka’aihue an extended chance in the majors despite his strong minor-league production and then when they finally stuck him in the lineup he hit .216 in 52 games last season and .195 in 23 games this year.

That’s hardly enough playing time to prove Ka’aihue can’t hit in the majors, but career minor leaguers usually can’t afford not to thrive right away and today the Royals designated the 27-year-old first baseman for assignment after keeping him at Triple-A since early May.

Ka’aihue hit .272 with an .812 OPS in 95 games at Triple-A, which gives him a .281 batting average and .910 OPS in 353 career games there, but after 10 years in the Royals’ farm system the former 15th-round pick is running out of time to stick in the majors.

  1. Jeremiah Graves - Sep 21, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    The Twinkies could use a little 1B depth w/ Morneau still a big time question mark.

    …just sayin’

    • cup0pizza - Sep 21, 2011 at 4:37 PM

      You can have James Loney. please….take James Loney.

      • Kevin S. - Sep 21, 2011 at 4:40 PM

        I don’t think he meant 1B depth at AAA.

      • Bryz - Sep 21, 2011 at 4:42 PM

        Hell no. Our light-hitting players have to be in the middle of the diamond.

    • The Common Man - Sep 21, 2011 at 5:03 PM

      Would be a great backup option at 1B, potential RH hitter off the bench, or way to appease Rochester by bringing in better players. He meets so many needs. It’s not like we need Dinkelman on the 40 man.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Sep 21, 2011 at 5:22 PM

        He bats lefthanded.

  2. dlevalley - Sep 21, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    I’d be surprised if there’s not a whole bunch of teams lining up to sign this guy, in hopes he can channel the Carlos Pena/Russell Branyan model. Especially a team that could really use a surprise performance, like the Pirates.

    But I’ve been surprised before.

    And I also remember feeling the same way about Jeff Clement, Andy LaRoche, Dallas McPhearson, Lastings Milledge, Chris Snelling, Roberto Petagine…

    That doesn’t even include pitchers, or all the Giants prospects I’ve been irrationally excited about. Todd Linden, Damon Minor, Calvin Murray, Tony Torcato (I mean, seriously, with that name, how did that guy NOT become an all-star?), Eddy Martinez-Esteve…

    So maybe I’m just an optimist. Or an idiot.

  3. Tyree Studio - Sep 22, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    The disappointing thing with Kila is he should have been given a shot with KC after his steller 08 AAA season. Instead, DM traded Leo Nunez to Florida for HGH freak Mike Jacobs. IMO, the worst move DM has made as Royals GM (Guillen and Meche actually produced for at least a season or 2).

    With Hosmer and Butler there really is no room for Kila on KC’s team today. But it would have been nice to give him a shot to succeed or fail back in 09…

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