Some moves are so obvious that they're telegraphed far ahead of time. It's clear the Arizona Cardinals are going to trade for a quarterback once the NFL lockout is lifted. It's clear the Phillies are going to add an outfield bat by the deadline. It's clear the Padres are going unload a relief pitcher at some point. It's a simple case of supply and demand -- a team has a hole and does what it takes to fill it if it is able. And in each case, there are players available on other teams to fill the holes identified for each franchise.
So why in the world are the Kansas City Royals sitting on their hands when it comes to the one call-up that's made the most sense all season? It's a question that can drive you mad if you're an obsessive Royals fan. Day after day, the Royals trot out a second baseman with a line that reads like something Mario Mendoza would laugh at. And day after day, the obvious replacement sits in the minors with numbers that should have made an advance to the majors obvious a month or more ago.
Chris Getz, the incumbent starter for KC, is hitting .249/.308/.279. Yes, that's a .279 slugging percentage. That's the lowest slugging percentage in the Major Leagues. That's also the third lowest OPS in the Majors. In short, Getz has been atrocious at the plate. He hits a few singles and steals an occasional base. Most of the time, he walks back to the dugout. He's a black hole in a line-up that needs help. And yet help is sitting there on the outside looking in.
One level below Getz sits Johnny Giavotella. The starting second baseman for Omaha has a .335/.391/.484 line for an .875 OPS. That pretty much matches what he did last year in AA. He's nearing four full seasons in the minors after being Kansas City's second rounder in 2008 and he's still only 23. He hardly ever strikes out, makes good contact with the ball and can even spell in other spots around the diamond on an emergency basis -- so far this year, he's plugged in at third base and left field. What's left for him to prove?
Anyone remember those inane matches on WWF (yes, perhaps I did watch a Wrestlemania or two growing up) when one tag team member is getting absolutely beat and you just can't take the pressure of watching help stand only six inches away from being able to come in and save the day? I was a bit too into wrestling when I was a little kid. But the emotion is real even now watching a team like the Royals refuse to tag the right guy for the job.
The inability to bring up Giavotella to this point makes even less sense when they've already called up other names that made even less sense at the time than Giavotella does right now. Hosmer had a hot first month and that earned him a starting spot at first base in KC for the next several years. Mike Moustakas made good on a slow start and came up a bit earlier than most expected. Danny Duffy was given the chance to prove his worth at the ML level although no one would have faulted Dayton Moore for leaving him in the minors for a bit more seasoning.
Giavotella is as obvious a move as the Royals are going to have all year. Getz isn't going to get any better (can you believe Getz has actually had two other years hitting worse than this year?) and Giavotella is ripe for the job. To this point, it's a total mystery why Moore would wait to pull the trigger.