The Kansas City Royals made a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers last July, sending long-time Royal Mike Moustakas to Milwaukee in exchange for outfielder Brett Phillips and pitcher Jorge Lopez. The trade doesn’t look good.
It was a bit of a surprise when Mike Moustakas wound up signing a one-year deal with the Kansas City Royals prior to the 2018 season beginning. The Royals were really bad last year, so watching Moustakas give it his all on a crappy team was tough to watch.
Dayton Moore finally let Moose go to a contender, trading him to the Brewers, who wound up making it all the way to Game 7 of the NCLS. Moustakas was a contributor during that postseason run last year and it was nice to see him get to play meaningful games near the end of the 2018 season.
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Lopez is coming off his worst outing of the season, where he only made it through one inning while giving up five runs. He failed to record an out in the second inning and it’s become evident that he needs to be moved to the bullpen until he gets things figured out.
Lopez actually looked pretty good in his lone relief appearance, going two scoreless innings against the Cardinals. The Royals need to move him into a reliever role because he’s not looking good as a starter. His 6.79 ERA and 0-6 record indicate that.
As for Phillips, he hasn’t even had an at bat in the majors this year. Last year, he slashed .188/.252/.313 with two home runs and seven RBI in 112 at bats for the Royals. He made some nifty grabs in center field, but his struggles at the plate were hard to ignore.
Phillips turns 25 on Thursday and it’d be nice to see him contribute to the team this year, but he’s not doing well in Omaha. He’s slashing .186/.348/.364 with five home runs and 11 RBI in 129 at bats. Those numbers don’t exactly scream “major league call-up”.
If Billy Hamilton gets traded at some point (it’d be as a pinch runner for a contender), the Royals will need another center field option. Phillips is the clear option, but Bubba Starling is putting up nice numbers this year and deserves a chance in Kansas City’s outfield.
While the Kansas City Royals made the right decision in trading Mike Moustakas, their prospects they received in return haven’t made a positive impact so far. There’s still time for both Jorge Lopez and Brett Phillips to turn things around, but as of now, Royals fans have a right to be frustrated.