Friday, May 6, 2011

Eric Hosmer Called Up, Jaws Picked Up Off The Ground In Royals Nation

While I'm a few hours behind on the news here, it appears as though the Royals have elected to call up wunderkind Eric Hosmer. The reaction amongst Royals fans (at least as I waded through the first 200 of what had been 1200 comments at Royals Review) has been mostly shock. Arguments are being made. Children are being flogged. Preparations are being made for the coming end of days as Hosmer is clearly the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

I am definitely conflicted about this move.

The pragmatist in me wants the Scott Boras client named Eric Hosmer to sit in Omaha and tear up the Pacific Coast League for the rest of the year and the first half of next April.

The kid in me* wants to see Hosmer hitting in the heart of the Royals lineup everyday.

*Begrudgingly, I must admit there's one in there somewhere. 

There's also a part of me that still wants to see Kila Ka'aihue get a real chance to produce. Apparently, he's going to get Hubered/Shealied/Pickeringed, which is sad and shortsighted. Even if he didn't have a future with the Royals, he could have proven his worth and netted something in a trade later in the season.

As for Hosmer, he destroyed Double-A last year. He destroyed Triple-A this year. For good measure, he tore up Spring Training. Granted his exposure to advanced pitching has been limited to his Spring Training plate appearances this year, half a season in Double-A, and a month Triple-A. If he struggles like Alex Gordon has for the greater part of his career, the fans the Royals amazingly have left will be beside themselves with grief as Eric Hosmer was The One.

That might not happen, though. He could crush Major League pitching from the get-go.

The real issue, of course, is that most even-keeled Royals fans do not expect their current above-.500 record to hold up. The rotation is a joke and, as it continues to wear the extremely young bullpen increasingly thinner throughout the season, will likely prove to be the 2011 Royals' undoing.

If 2011 is lost, why rush Eric Hosmer up to The Show?

If the answer is just that Kila has struggled mightily, then there is a real problem.

If the answer is that Mike Moustakas might not be ready as soon as Dayton Moore and Company expected, then perhaps this isn't as egregious a move as we assume it to be right now. Moustakas has certainly struggled thus far in 2011. An adjustment to his time table could conceivably have happened. While that would be personally surprising to me, this move was, too.

It is clear that the thoughts in Dayton Moore's head are enigmatic to me. Making sense of them or predicting what will come next is an exercise in futility.

For better or worse, tomorrow marks the beginning of the Eric Hosmer Era in Kansas City. I'll be watching nervously from afar.