Johnny Giavotella (via Minda Haas)
Royals infielder Johnny Giavotella came into play tonight for the Omaha Storm Chasers 0-for-his-last-19, but he broke out of his slump in Game 1 of a doubleheader in Reno, going 1-for-1 with a double and two walks. And then in Game 2 he blasted a three-run home run in the first inning, seeming to put his mini-slump behind him.
Giavotella, 25, played third base in Game 1 for the second straight game. Earlier this afternoon, I asked Omaha broadcaster Mark Nasser how Giavotella looked after his first game there and he said he looked fine, even making a nice play.
Nasser went on to say the Royals have been planning to put Giavotella at third base for Omaha for quite a while, but the Chasers haven't been able to do much on field early work due to weather. In fact, today was the first time in twelve days the team has taken on field BP.
Giavotella was back to his customary second base for Game 2 of the doubleheader, but his experiment at third base is a curious one given that Mike Moustakas is beginning to hit in Kansas City. Even if he weren't, I can't imagine the Royals considering Giavotella as a replacement for him.
It's possible that the Royals are grooming Giavotella to become more versatile defensively because they want his bat in the lineup, but they already have a more established utility player in Omaha in the form of Irving Falu (who hit .341 for Kansas City last year in 24 games). So, it's anybody's guess as to what the Royals are thinking. Last season they also experimented with Wil Myers at third base without any real explanation.
Giavotella finds himself in Omaha yet again after losing the battle for second base to Chris Getz during spring training. When he met with the media at Werner Park after a workout in April, just before the team left for the first series of the year, he was asked what the Royals have told him he needs to work on to stick in the big leagues.
"They said I don't really need to work on anything -- just keep developing my game, just get as many at-bats under my belt as possible and then whenever I get that call, just go make it happen in the big leagues," Giavotella said.
Isn't that frustrating?
"You can look at it that way," he said. "It can be frustrating. But you've just got to make the most of wherever you're at."