The Kansas City Royals are wasting a roster spot with Terrance Gore.
Every roster spot on a major league baseball roster is valuable. In a day of specialization, each player has a role to fill, whether it is to get left handed hitters out, serve as a platoon bat, or provide defensive flexibility. Or, in the case of the Kansas City Royals, to serve as a pinch runner.
It is not entirely fair to say that is all that Terrance Gore does as a baseball player at the major league level. He has managed to receive 19 plate appearances in his 65 games, he has managed to record one hit, walk once, and be hit by a pitch twice. However, Gore is far more valuable for his legs, having scored 19 runs and stolen 27 bases.
Given his ability to play in the field and having swung the bat, Gore is not a strict pinch runner in the Herb Washington sense. Instead, he is more like Don Hoskins, who had eight plate appearances in 85 career games. Hoskins had exactly one major league hit as well, and drew two walks while scoring 25 runs and stealing 21 bases.
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As innovative, or crazy, depending on how one wants to look at it, Oakland A’s owner Charles Finley was, even he came to realize that the strict pinch runner was not that valuable. Washington was let go when Hoskins was brought to the majors as the latter was actually a baseball player. Hoskins himself lasted for approximately a year in the majors before heading back to AAA, where he finished his career in 1977.
Yet, this is a lesson that the Royals have yet to learn with Gore. Yes, he can play in the outfield, and his speed can cause havoc on the basepaths, especially in the postseason. The problem is, this is April, and the Royals are not a playoff team.
Instead, he is taking up a valuable roster spot that could be used to evaluate players for the future. Even if the thought is that Gore can still, somehow, develop into another Jarrod Dyson, he needs to get a chance to step into the batter’s box. That also seems unlikely, as he is simply hanging around, waiting to run as needed.
If the Royals truly feel a need to have another outfielder, why not take a look at former top prospect Bubba Starling? Or bring up Brett Phillips or Jorge Bonifacio? Or maybe find a reliever that can actually get people out? Gore potentially stealing a run does not matter if the bullpen is imploding virtually every time out.
Every roster spot is valuable at the major league level. The Kansas City Royals are wasting one of their 25 with Terrance Gore.