Kansas City Royals need to stick with Jorge Soler in the lineup

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals haven’t gotten much out of outfielder and designated hitter Jorge Soler, but they can’t give up on him yet.

When the Kansas City Royals acquired Jorge Soler before the 2017 season, most of us knew that it’d be a year or two before the team really got anything out of him. Things got even hairier when Soler spent most of the 2017 season in the minors due to injuries and to Jorge Bonifacio performing well in his absence.

This offseason brought up many questions about Soler’s future in Kansas City. What would his role be in 2018? Would he be in the outfield much or would he rotate as the designated hitter?

The questions began to answer themselves, as Brandon Moss, the team’s designated hitter a season ago, was traded and Jorge Bonifacio was popped with an 80-game suspension. That forced Soler into the lineup whether the Royals wanted him there or not.

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At this point, why wouldn’t the Royals be playing Jorge Soler every day? He’s not going to get better sitting on the bench and the Royals have TWO MORE YEARS of club control on him. Get him some at bats no matter how bad it gets.

Soler has yet to record a hit in his two games so far and he’s also struck out twice, but getting him at bats is key here. Remember how poorly Alcides Escobar was hitting in 2011? Ned Yost stuck with him and eventually he turned into a .293 hitter in 2012 and went on to become the ALCS MVP in 2015.

I’m not saying Jorge Soler is going to accomplish what Esky did, but if Yost gives up on him and keeps him on the bench, we’ll never know what he’s capable of. With two years left on Soler’s contract, the Royals have to get whatever they can out of Soler and this is the year to experience those growing pains with him.

The Royals aren’t going to make much noise this year anyway, so it’s time to get Jorge Soler at the dish, let him see pitches, and make mistakes. That’s the only way he’s going to get better.

Bonifacio being suspended frees up a spot in the outfield for Soler, but he doesn’t have to play in there every day. He should, however, be getting at bats every day whether it’s as an outfielder or as the designated hitter.

It’s time to let Jorge Soler make mistakes and learn from them. Maybe he’ll end up going down the same path Escobar went down after 2011. We’ll never know if he’s never given the opportunity.