Detroit Tigers: Steven Moya in Doubt
The Detroit Tigers came out of the All-Star Break with a full-on roar against the Kansas City Royals last night in all but one inning.
Ian Kinsler‘s powerful home run set the tone. But the Detroit Tigers were tamed for one inning due to a misplay by none other than Steven Moya.
Was this play the sign of the end for Steven Moya?
The team appeared to be firing on all cylinders. Justin Verlander was pitching strikeouts; in fact; he threw 10 of them against the Royals impressive offense. He appeared to be in complete command through the 100+ pitches he hurled – even reaching speeds of 99 mph.
But, the Royals are a team that can take advantage of any miscue. And, they did. In the sixth inning, Verlander walked Eric Hosmer and then he gave up a hit to Kendrys Morales. Powerhitter Salvador Perez hit a catchable bomb to right field and Moya misplayed it.
Despite the fact that Moya did not earn an error, the mistake scored two runs. During the play, Kinsler did earn a throwing error as he tried to get a runner out at third. It was just one ugly play by the Tigers.
After the play, Moya was not the same.
Brad Ausmus kept him in the outfield, but the 24-year-old Moya looked like an overwhelmed Little Leaguer kicking around the grass with his head down in shame. The roar of boos from the crowd didn’t help, either. He remained that way until the inning ended. His sixth-inning at-bat was uninspired, too. He grounded out leaving Miguel Cabrera stranded on first base. Mike Aviles replaced him in the eighth inning.
This is not the first mistake that Moya has made in the outfield. Even though he has played outfield in the minor leagues, he clearly is not built for it. With his tall and strong body, he belongs on first base. Unfortunately for Moya, that spot is taken by a significantly better player.
Moya’s hitting has been acceptable. Not great. Not bad. Acceptable. He has a slash of .258/.295/.517, with an OPS of .812. He has shown off his power with five home runs. But, will this be enough for the Tigers to keep him? Will this be enough for another team to want him?
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As the Trade Deadline looms and J.D. Martinez is getting closer to returning to the team, Moya’s future is in question. There are saying about not being able to coach height, so Moya has his size and strength going for him. But, as he continues to make blunders in the outfield, his value drops. He has already made four errors in his short time in the outfield.
In an article in the Detroit Free Press, Ausmus did have kind words to say about Moya: “But like I said, he works his tail off. He’s a good kid. He will get better.”
Moya is now 24 years old. In the last three years, he has played in 46 MLB games with the Tigers. He was signed by the Tigers in 2008 and has played in over 700 games. He has accrued time in 4967 innings.
Honestly, how much more time does he need?