The news in Kansas City just keeps getting better. Breaking, from Bob Dutton:
- Shortstop Mike Aviles is scheduled to undergo reconstructive-elbow surgery, commonly known as Tommy John surgery, to correct ligament damage that failed to heal through rest.
He began experiencing forearm and elbow soreness this season in spring training and batted just .183 in 36 games before going on the disabled list after the May 23 games in St. Louis.
Well, that's a kick in the pants. As recently as yesterday, Aviles' injury was still being described as "a sore right forearm," but at least now we've got an explanation for his off-the-cliff performance this spring. As if Rany Jazayerli needed any more ammo than he already had.
You have to love the Royals' shortstops this season. In addition to Aviles, you've got Luis Hernandez and Tony Pena, Jr. Together, they've combined for a .199/.229/.255 line. Those latter two numbers are the worst in the majors, while the .199 is "bested" by only the Phillies' shortstops' .197 batting average (thanks, J-Roll!).
Among the many reasons for the Royals having the worst run differential in the American League, the failure of their shortstops might rank as No. 1. Other candidates: Alex Gordon's injury, Kyle Davies' ongoing inability to control the strike zone, and Sidney Ponson's Sidney Ponson-ness.
In the end, though, one struggles to avoid returning to the front office. The Royals are 13th in the league in walks, 13th in on-base percentage, and 13th in scoring. Maybe, one of these years, somebody wearing a suit will realize that those things might be somehow connected.