Bob Dutton made some noise on the Royals blogosphere and twitterverse last night when he released a story stating that the "goal" of Dayton Moore and the front office was to get Johnny Giavotella 100-150 Major League at bats this season.
So what would it take for the Royals to meet that goal? Well there are twenty-five games in September and considering that Yost is planning on starting Giavotella everyday he could get close to the lower end of that goal should he be called up on September 1.
More likely though Giavotella will need to be called up in mid-August and handed the everyday duty the rest of the season in order to comfortably fall into that 100-150 at bat range. So my question is this: if you are already virtually naming him the starter for the last month or month and a half of the season why not bring him up now?
Perhaps, there are service time issues that the Royals can benefit from should they wait until mid-August? Well, unless the Royals wait until several weeks into the 2012 season Giavotella will be a free agent after the 2017 season. The same time as Moustakas, Hosmer, Duffy, and the bevy of relievers. Also, the Royals are way past the Super Two cutoff so that is no concern either. So obviously service time isn't the reason he is still in Omaha.
I guess maybe the Royals feel like he isn't quite Major League ready. That would be a great reason for Giavotella to still be in Omaha, except for it is obviously not true. In fact Giavotella has proven himself more in Omaha than any rookie on the Major League roster not named Eric Hosmer.
Gio currently is hitting .339/.391/.482 in Omaha and since the all star break his line has been .392/.427/.581. In the last two months he has posted an OPS over 1.000. No, it is pretty clear the bat is Major League ready. So that leaves just one reason why Giavotella isn't in the Majors.
Obviously Giavotella is blocked by a superior player. Wait... What? The player blocking Giavotella is Chris Getz? The guy that has set a record for Royals at bats without a home run? The guy that is hitting .259/.317/.288 for the season?
So obviously there is no good reason for Giavotella still being in Triple-A. My guess is that one more cold streak by Getz will result in a move. Obviously the Royals would like to try and flip Getz for something useful, but I can't see why a team would give anything up for him.
Getz does have options remaining, but he will be arbitration eligible for the first time this winter making him more expensive. (Although I can't imagine him making seven figures.) He could go back to Omaha and be a back up guy should Giavotella fail miserably or get hurt in 2012. This is the solution I would take with Getz. Control inventory and take advantage of depth.
The Royals have already made it clear that they want Giavotella to be the starter for at least the final month of the season. So why wait? I realize that if they bring him up now they will probably net him close to 200 Major League at bats. But seriously, since when is it bad to exceed a goal? Giavotella has warranted a promtoion and is ready to go. Give him the rest of the at bats as the starting second sacker for the rest of the season and he should be ready to hit the ground running in 2012.
Giavotella isn't the only player deserving of a Major League spot. There is also the issue for Lorenzo Cain. Considering the current shape of the roster I'd prefer to keep Cain in Omaha for the next month allowing him to play everyday. Once the Omaha season ends bring him up and do your best to rotate him in and out of the lineup.
Also deserving are David Lough and Clint Robinson are also on the 40 man roster. Both have also done plenty to warrant promotions in September. There won't be enough playing time to go around to truly benefit them from a skills development standpoint. But I'd like to see them both called up to give them a taste of the Big Leagues, while rewarding them for their hard work and quality performances over the past few seasons.
Salvador Perez and Kelvin Herrera also have gotten call ups to the Triple-A recently. Both are Rule 5 eligible this winter so, should an opportunity present itself, both should be given September call ups as well. This could give them each about five weeks of playing time in Omaha that would include a playoff run (hopefully). Plus a few weeks in the Majors allowing them an opportunity to experience what Major League life is like.
The Royals are the youngest team in the Majors. But don't think the youth movement is done. We can only hope that Moustakas and Hosmer were the initial outburst from a consistent pipeline of talent.