The Moose Crew and Reshaping a Roster

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

by: Eric Boston @EricBoston3

If you have been to Kauffman Stadium for a game since 2011, you have undoubtedly heard one of the most unique fan chants in the game.

“Mooooooose” would bellow down to the field from the stands as the Kansas City Royals’ third baseman would step into the batter’s box.

Mike Moustakas was one member of a Royals’ core that helped bring playoff baseball, and a championship, back to one of America’s best baseball cities. The Moose is Loose once again, only now he has ventured further north.

An oddly unexpected off-season brought Moustakas back to KC this past winter. Both the player and the team appear to have taken advantage of the opportunity.

Up to this point, Moustakas had been proving that his 2017 campaign was not a fluke, one in which he set Kansas City’s single-season franchise record for home runs with 38. He is slashing .249/.309/.465 with 20 HRs in 2018. 

On Friday night Moose was dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers, joining former teammates Lorenzo Cain, Joakim Soria, and Jeremy Jeffress in the midst of a playoff hunt of their own.

While a Moose trade was expected, the place where he landed was a bit of a surprise.

Atlanta, who is battling to reach the playoffs, needs a third baseman. There were also rumors of teams like the Yankees and Red Sox having interest, perhaps in utilizing him at first base. But the Brewers swept in and landed the two-time All-Star.

After missing out on Manny Machado, acquiring Moustakas may have been the next best option in terms of “making a splash”.

Brewers’ fans are going to need to practice their Moose calls and quickly got the chance to start.

Moustakas was batting third on Saturday for the Brew Crew behind his pal Cain. He may have gone 1 for 5 in his debut, but once the team is healthy you can expect him to slide down the order where he becomes more valuable.

Milwaukee is going to love Moose and I, along with many other Royals’ fans, am going to be pulling for them the remainder of 2018.

While the Brewers added an All-Star to their roster, Kansas City came away with a nice haul of their own.

Two former MLB Top 100 prospects are heading to KC. The main piece is OF Brett Phillips who is reporting directly to the big league club and starting on Sunday. RHP Jorge Lopez is going to Triple-A but could end up in KC before the year is over.

Phillips was Milwaukee’s number six prospect and many rankings have placed him at number eight in the Kansas City system.

Along with recent acquisition Brian Goodwin, Phillips represents an overhaul of the Royals’ outfield. It also creates some interesting choices for GM Dayton Moore and Coach Ned Yost. Aside from Phillips and Goodwin the roster also features Alex Gordon, Jorge Bonifacio, Jorge Soler (once he returns from the DL), and Rosell Herrera.

Obviously, that is a lot of bodies for only three outfield spots.

One thing that could ease the roster crunch would be for the Royals to trade Lucas Duda in the next couple of days. By dealing Duda you open up options at first base and DH.

Hunter Dozier has already moved across the diamond to replace Moustakas at third base. I have been an advocate of moving Gordon to first base and perhaps that becomes an option now. Yes, I know that Gordon is an elite outfielder; he is also aging and coming to the end of a contract. Making a move to first would show versatility and make him more interesting as he looks to extend his career.

In this situation you would end up with:
  • ·         Duda traded
  • ·         Gordon at first base
  • ·         An outfield consisting of Phillips, Goodwin, and Bonifacio
  • ·         Soler at DH
  • ·         Herrara as a utility player that can also manage some infield work

Add that alignment to C Salvador Perez, 2B Whit Merrifield, SS Adalberto Mondesi, and Dozier at the hot corner and you have a solid roster heading into 2019. It would allow Moore to focus on improving his pitching staff in hopes of a quick turnaround for a team that won a World Series three short seasons ago.

At the very least it appears that both Kansas City and Milwaukee have both made the remainder of the season an intriguing one for their respective fan bases.

As a Royals fan, I hope that Moose, Cain, and Soria are able to carry the Brewers to the Fall Classic. Battling the Chicago Cubs for a National League Central division title is going to be tough, but a fun race to watch.

I wish Moustakas nothing but the best, while I would not have considered myself his biggest fan; he has definitely endeared himself to me. However, a new and exciting page has turned for Kansas City.
The new guys have already flashed some of that promise and I am excited to see what Phillips can do.

What are your thoughts on both the trade and what these teams can do the rest of the season? Did Milwaukee get the player they need to give them an edge? Will Kansas City make their rebuild shorter than expected? Let me know in the comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment