Thursday, April 14, 2011

Small Sample Enough to Bench Royals 1B Ka'aihue

Royals first baseman Kila Ka'aihue was given only 13 at-bats against left-handed pitchers before being benched against them by manager Ned Yost; it was a small sample,  but evidence abounds that Ka'aihue  up until now has been greatly overmatched in such assignments at the major league level.

Having flailed helplessly against marginal Tigers lefty Phil Coke in three, recent successive plate appearances, it was clear Ka'aihue needed time off to gather himself and find a way to demonstrate that he has the potential to be anything more than a platoon player at best.

Yost sat Ka'aihue with the excuse of giving him "a break" against Twins lefties Brian Duensing and Francisco Liriano,  but with the Royals playing with surprising competiveness,  it's likely Yost wanted to avoid having a rally killer clogging the offense in the middle of the lineup.

 Though he has a walk-off homer,  Ka'aihue is hitting just .176 overall and .154 against lefties. Hitting coach Kevin Seitzer,  a master at the plate during his career,  has taken Ka'aihue under his wing.  In the meantime,  Royals top prospect first baseman Eric Hosmer awaits at Triple A Omaha.