An encouraging postseason from third baseman Mike Moustakas has only deepened the faith of general manager Dayton Moore that Moustakas is the team’s long-term solution at the hot corner.
“With every young player, they’re going to go through ups and downs,” Moore said during a news conference on Wednesday. “But we feel Moose has a chance to potentially win an MVP some day. That’s how we feel about his ability. I think in the postseason, you saw him embrace the moment. A lot of big hits.”
Moustakas, the second pick in the 2007 draft, boomed five homers in the postseason. He atoned for a miserable regular season, complete with a demotion in May and a career-worst .632 on-base plus slugging percentage.
Moustakas will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this coming winter. Moore does not expect to seek an alternative.
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“It would be very difficult to find a better alternative for us than Mike Moustakas at third base,” Moore said. “Not that we’d be looking. But he’s definitely our third baseman going forward.”
Coaches all to return in 2015
The Royals have reached agreements to retain and return their entire coaching staff for the 2015 season, Moore said. The team needed to reach deals with first-base coach Rusty Kuntz, third-base coach Mike Jirschele and bullpen coach Doug Henry. The rest of the staff was already under contract.
“That was important to maintain that continuity,” Moore said.
Infante not headed for operating table
Moore does not expect second baseman Omar Infante to require surgery for his bothersome right shoulder, which dogged Infante throughout the second half of the season. During the playoffs, Infante said he required oral doses of the pain-killing medication Toradol in order to play. But his postseason examinations revealed no need for an operation, Moore said.
Another award for Gordon
A day after winning his fourth straight AL Gold Glove Award in left field, Alex Gordon was announced as the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year in left field by Major League Baseball. Lorenzo Cain, who was not eligible for a Gold Glove because he did not start enough games in center field, also won the MLB award.