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Royals calling up Johnny Giavotella … for a part-time role

May 9, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

Johnny Giavotella Getty Images

Last week when Yuniesky Betancourt got hurt and the Royals replaced him with career minor leaguer Irving Falu rather than 24-year-old prospect Johnny Giavotella it seemed … well, let’s be nice and say odd.

And now Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that the Royals have decided to call up Giavotella after all–apparently that extra week at Triple-A really did wonders for him–but they’re not doing so with the intention of actually playing him every day. You know, because that would make too much sense.

Instead, according to Dutton, he’s being called up to serve mostly as a platoon player versus left-handed pitching. Giavotella is a 24-year-old prospect who’s hit .331 at Triple-A this season after hitting .338 there last season, and yet the Royals would rather give the bulk of the playing time to 28-year-old Chris Getz and his .630 career OPS.

In completely unrelated news, Kansas City is 10-19.

UPDATE: To make room for Giavotella on the roster the Royals placed Jonathan Sanchez on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis.

  1. The Baseball Idiot - May 9, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    I’m not trusting the process.

  2. El Bravo - May 9, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    In case anyone wasn’t clear, this entire post was written in sarcastica font.

  3. randall351 - May 9, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Did they ever say what roster move was made to free up a space?

  4. bleedpurplenblack - May 9, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Speculation is that Jonathan Sanchez will be headed to the DL (bicep tendinitis).

  5. js20011041 - May 9, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Despite having a once in a generation level of talent in the farm system, Royals fans must have an inevitible sense of doom. I don’t even think the Pirates could screw things up as badly as this franchise. Sucks too. I’d like to see them competitive.

  6. - May 9, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    I know Allard Biard works in the Red Sox front office, and I know the Red Sox are in town. Coincidence now that Dayton Moore is making Allard Biard type moves? Probably not, but it makes for good snarky comments on HBT.

    Either way, Like I said in the Falu thread: If the Royals make a desicion, odds are that it is WRONG.

  7. mianfr - May 9, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    It’s only a matter of time before they send Alex Gordon back down to Triple-A for more conditioning.

  8. tedwmoore - May 9, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    As a fan of both AG and of mocking the Royals front office, I am disappoi nted in this piece, which is rather poorly researched. Yes, calling up Gio for a part-time role makes little sense, but not because they should be sitting Getz, who is actually playing fairly well this season. He is no all-star with the bat, but his current OPS of 762 is well above the career 630 mark that AG notes, bolstered by a stronger-than-normal .136 ISO. And from watching him play this season, it doesn’t appear flukey. Sure his BABIP is at 315, 25 points above his career mark, but that is not much of a surprise given that he has cut his GB% from a career 50.2% to 34% and increased his LD% from a career 19.7% to 34%. Coming into the season a bit of fuss was made about Getz’s new stance and approach at the plate, how it would lead to a shorter stroke and more power…and as someone who mocked that line of reasoning, I fully admit that he does look considerably better at the plate this season, and his early results, both in the stat line and the peripherals, back that up. Consider also his 342 wOBA, which would be 8th among qualified second basemen, if he had enough PA to qualify.

    Combine the improved batting line with what looks like good defense (something no one thinks Gio offers) that also is well received by UZR, and Getz has already managed to amass 0.6 fWAR in 68 plate appearances. If that production holds for the entire season, and I am not certain it will, then Getz will be among the top 5-to-10 most valuable second basemen in baseball. Maybe at some point in the season Getz will falter, at which point it will make sense to give Gio a stronger look at 2B, but for now Getz is more than productive enough to warrant his starter’s job.

    • wlschneider09 - May 9, 2012 at 3:40 PM

      Psst, you’re not supposed to point out anything that makes it seem rational to not play a prospect. HBT commandment #12: Prospects are ALWAYS better.

    • groundruledoublebourbon - May 9, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      I know Getz has played well enough, but we know what he is. Career numbers over that span of time don’t lie. Thanks for pointing out Getz will falter, because all signs point to him playing over his head right now.

      I know this is against all that is holy on this blog, but…. that post had way too much alphabet soup in it. Sorry, statheads.

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