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Relaford gets second chance

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Relaford gets second chance

Postby Mad'sWife » Mon Oct 20, 2003 5:26 am

10/15/2003 11:48 AM ET
Relaford gets second chance
Infielder expected to be 100 percent after wrist surgery
By Robert Falkoff / MLB.com

Who's on first for the Royals?
KANSAS CITY -- Desi Relaford signed a two-year contract with the Royals last January because he wanted the opportunity to compete for the regular second base job.

Desi Relaford / SS
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 174
Bats/Throws: S/R

More info:
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Stats
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It took a while, but Relaford finally won that job over Carlos Febles and now projects as Kansas City’s everyday second baseman for 2004. The question Kansas City fans will ponder this winter is whether they’ll see the Relaford who flourished prior to the All-Star break in 2003 or the Relaford who struggled in the second half of the season.

Playing on despite a sore left wrist that would require surgery, Relaford saw his batting average and RBI numbers decline in dramatic fashion after the All-Star break. Before the break, Relaford hit .288 with six homers and 40 runs batted in. After the break, he hit just .207 with two homers and 19 runs batted in.

“I think the injury was obviously a big factor,” Royals general manager Allard Baird said.

Relaford is normally a switch-hitter, but the sore left wrist forced him to hit strictly left-handed after July 2. Looking at lefties from a different view, Relaford hit only .220 the rest of the way.


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"It took a part of his weapons away when he couldn’t switch to the other side of the plate. But I think we all saw the first half what he brings to this ballclub and what he can bring day in and day out."
-- Royals GM Allard Baird

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“It took a part of his weapons away when he couldn’t switch to the other side of the plate,” Baird said. “But I think we all saw the first half what he brings to this ballclub and what he can bring day in and day out.”

With Febles having been designated for assignment late in the 2003 season, the second base picture currently revolves around Relaford and a couple of promising prospects who were at the Class A level last season. Donald Murphy and Ruben Gotay could eventually fit into the Royals’ plans at second, but still need more grooming in the minors.

“The Murphy kid is very impressive,” Baird said. “We’ll get a chance to see him in Spring Training. We feel very good about Murphy and we feel very good about Gotay. Are they ready next year? No. We’ll let their ability and mental makeup dictate when they are ready.”

In bridging the second base gap between Relaford and the Class A prospects, the Royals may have several options. Mendy Lopez and Brent Abernathy, who recently were removed from the 40-man roster, may be pursued and the club may want to stockpile second base talent through the free agent and six-year free agent routes.

But the primary focus is on Relaford. After using Relaford in a variety of roles through the first half in 2003, the Royals are hopeful that he will be able to stay relatively fresh by playing just one position in 2004.

Relaford had his left wrist surgery in Philadelphia shortly after the regular season ended and should be 100 percent for the start of Spring Training.

“The big thing,” Baird said, “was to get him healthy and get him back ready to go.”

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Postby DK » Mon Oct 20, 2003 5:44 pm

i think he'll be in the middle of the two extremes.
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Sat Apr 09, 2005 11:04 am

Good call DK.

Im more suprised that Mad's wife is posting in the Royals forum than anything else.
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