Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Mike Sweeney Hears Footsteps of Craig Brazell

Fortunately for veteran Royals first baseman Mike Sweeney, prospect Craig Brazell has cooled down a tad, going only 1 for his last 14 at Triple A Omaha to drop his batting average to a mere .341.

Still, with Sweeney hitting only .247 for the season and in a 4-25 slump -- and with the Royals having scored just two runs per game while losing the last six -- there may soon be one more former superstar among the missing in Kansas City.

Not only has Sweeney's bat gone cold, he is on a pace by the end of this season to miss more than 300 games due to injury since 2002, and patience is wearing thin. Don't be surprised if at long last manager Buddy Bell finds a spot for the 33-year-old slugger on the bench, especially after Brazell's big splash last week.

Incredibly, Brazell's recent 15-game hitting streak included two homers last Friday, eight in his previous five games, 12 in 12 games, and 13 in 14 games. And ironically, the 27-year-old former Mets farmhand did it against the Zephyrs, the Mets Triple A club in New Orleans.

Though Brazell has defensive limitations, he would pass muster as Sweeney's replacement because the defensively brilliant Sweeney is so brittle that he is being used primarily as a designated hitter.