What has been going on with Adalberto Mondesi? The shortstop for the Kansas City Royals looks like a shell of himself just five games into the 2020 season.
After a delay in the start of the season due to the pandemic, the future star was able to get healthy and was in the Opening Day roster, a true relief to Royals fans. The only problem is right now he hasn’t helped the team; Rather he’s costing the team opportunities not only at the plate, but on the bases and with his glove.
Adalberto Mondesi is one of the young and upcoming stars not just for the Kansas City Royals, but in all of Major League Baseball.
He could be considered the anchor of the overall rebuild of the Royals team ever since he became the everyday shortstop in the spring of 2019.
He is currently 2 for 21 for a .095 batting average. Both of those hits came in Cleveland game on the 26th where the Royals lost 9-2. He has had nine strikeouts so far and only scored a single run.
The strikeouts alone are alarming because manager Mike Matheny initially had him hitting second, but now has moved him into the third spot in the lineup.
Struggles at the plate is really just a part of the game. Slumps inevitably are going to happen to even the best hitters. In fact to dwell just on Mondesi’s plate appearances isn’t fair. The Royals as a team have struck out 55 times. As a team they are only hitting .199.
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Despite the struggles at the plate, the Royals have started the season where they are still competing. The pitching as whole really hasn’t been as bad as we had anticipated. They are pretty much in the middle of the pack in every pitching category to include their 19 bases on balls.
But the team is averaging right now one error per game. Combine that with the free passes and you simply get free bases, which great teams tend to not do.
In Tuesday’s 4-3 loss there were plays that stuck out, both were at critical points of the game.
In the seventh with one out, Royals pitcher Greg Holland with an 0-2 pitch was able to induce a ground ball off the bat of Miguel Cabrera. The ball was hit hard but should have been a simple 6-4-3 double play.
Mondesi bobbled it in a rush to get the ball to second baseman Whit Merrifield. Luckily two pitches later, Holland was able to get C.J. Cron to ground into a 5-3 double play to end the inning. As FSKC color man Rex Hudler said as the team ran off the field, “Mondesi owes Franco a big steak dinner”.
After being bailed out of a mistake like that that could have lead to the flood gates opening for a team that was worse, yes worse than the Royals last season, Mondesi once again had Royals fans dropping walking away from the TV to catch their breath.
In the ninth with one out Mondesi popped up the first pitch he saw in front of the pitcher’s mound. Instead of sprinting to first, or as most of us call it “hustling”, Mondesi nonchalantly tossed his bat in obvious frustration, then simply jogged down to first with his head down.
Tiger’s first basement C.J. Cron and the Tigers infield tried to gift the Royals an opportunity by botching the popup. Luckily for them Tiger’s catcher Austin Romine didn’t give up on the play and Mondesi wasn’t hustling.
Instead of sprinting around the bases and most likely being on second base, Mondesi was startled and was hung out 20 feet from first. Romine simply threw back to first where Tiger second baseman Jonathan Schoop simply put a tag on Mondesi and pretty much ended the Royals chances to tie the game.
It was obviously hard for Rex Hudler to even talk about the lack of hustle on that play. He attempted to quickly move to the next at bat by Salvador Perez without really being critical of what just happened. Perez quickly struck out on three pitches.
The lack of hustle was hard to stomach on Tuesday night. Yes, this game can frustrate even the best players, but players never look foolish for running hard down the line.
The odds of looking foolish from “lollygagging” will always exist. Hopefully this wasn’t a game that the Baseball Gods were trying hand the Royals this season.
In a 60 game season, plays like this can’t happen if the Kansas City Royals really want to make the extended playoffs.
Adalberto Mondesi is an amazing shortstop that is frustrated so far and it’s glaringly obvious that he is frustrated. As fans we know exactly how talented his is and what he is capable of. There is no doubt that he will snap out of this soon and start to contribute to this team with his bat. He’s is one heck of a ballplayer.
Let’s all just hope that these sort of mental mistakes aren’t contagious to the rest of the team.