It was an unfortunate circumstance for Chris Getz, but it may wind up being a blessing for the Kansas City Royals.
In a rare start versus a left hander, Getz found himself in the leadoff spot Friday night versus Chicago’s Chris Sale. Getz, who came into the game 6-for-11 versus Sale tried to bunt in the fifth inning and wound up breaking his thumb. The injury figures to cost Getz the remainder of the season. Getz finishes up with a .275/.312/.360 line in 189 at bats this season.
The blessing for the Royals is that with Getz no longer an option, and with Yuniesky Betancourt place on release waivers just days ago, Royals manager Ned Yost may have no choice but to turn the job over to heralded youngster Johnny Giavotella.
Ned Yost announces
#Royals will call up Johnny Giavotella to replace Getz. Yost says he’ll be the primary 2B
— Robert Ford (@raford3) August 18, 2012
Giavotella, who is referred to as “Gio” for some reason (shouldn’t it be “Gia”?), got an extended look as a rookie in 2011, but struggled to hit major league pitching, posting a .247/.273/.376 line in 187 plate appearances. A 69 at-bat stint earlier this year went equally as poorly. But the 25-year-old has done nothing but rake over the last three seasons in the minor leagues, highlighted by an .874 OPS and .331 average in over 800 Triple-A at bats over the past two seasons.
The Royals really struggled out of the gate in a season where they were expected to show signs of improvement. But giving over 400 at bats to the likes of Getz and Betancourt while the team is floundering and you have a guy hitting .300 in the minor leagues is just plain dumb. You never wish injury on anyone and Getz seems like a useful reserve, but this is a case of Yost being saved from himself. Giavotella may not ever see the same success in the major leagues as he has in the minors, but given what was ahead of him in Kansas City, it shouldn’t have taken an injury for him to get his shot.
He’s got it now. The Royals will see over the next six weeks whether or not they have their second baseman for 2013.
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