Moya’s on-the-job training likely to continue in RF

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — Steven Moya did not struggle defensively in the minor leagues like he is struggling now. 

He had a couple more misadventures in right field Friday. He was slow to react to a broken-bat bloop single by Jarrod Dyson in the third inning, allowing the speedy Dyson to turn it into a double.

In the sixth, his misplay of a hard-hit fly ball by Salvador Perez led to the Royals’ only two runs of the game.

“You never want to struggle at the major league level,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “There are a lot more eyes on you. It’s not development at this level. We’re here to win. In that sense, it can be tough for a young player. But Moya works his tail off. He will get better.”

Moya told reporters after the game that he didn’t see Perez’s ball off the bat. He also said he thought he heard somebody yell that he was at the wall, which he why he slowed and began to reach for the wall, and subsequently miss the ball.

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Asked if it was just a matter of him getting comfortable out there, he said, “It’s not about being comfortable or not. It’s about catching the ball.”

Ausmus said Moya’s struggles in the field were similar to what Nick Castellanos went through at third base his rookie season.

“Moya is still learning,” Ausmus said. “It’s a process. He’s not a finished product. He’s still learning how to play outfield at the big-league level. He will get better.”

Ausmus has been subbing Mike Aviles in for defensive purposes late in games. But with J.D. Martinez on the disabled list and Justin Upton on bereavement leave, the options in right field are slim beyond Moya.

The on-the-job training will likely continue.

Miggy helps Hosmer

Right fielder Steven Moya

Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer was still buzzing over what Miguel Cabrera did for him at the All-Star Game. 

Hosmer hit a home run in the first inning and Cabrera sensed he had a chance to be the game’s MVP. So, he went to manager Ned Yost and told him to keep Hosmer in the game.

 “He said, ‘This kid’s got a chance to win the MVP,’” Yost told the Associated Press Friday. “He said, ‘I want him to have another at-bat and see if he can solidify it.’ Hos was fighting, ‘No, Miggy, you go in.’ 

“Miggy goes, ‘No, I’m not going in. I want you to have one more at-bat.’”

Hosmer did, in fact, win the MVP honors.

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“We all know (Cabrera’s) the best player in this game, and for him to do that and say that to Ned,” Hosmer said, shaking his head. “I actually saw him say that and told him, ‘No, go do what you’ve got to do.’ Fans want to him in that game as well. 

“To hear that from a guy like him, it meant a lot to me. I thanked him probably about seven or eight times after the game and told him he didn’t have to do that. It was an unbelievable experience to be there and to start the game, but at the same time, I think there’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that Miguel Cabrera’s the best player in this game.”

Hold the mustard

Shortstop Jose Iglesias made another eye-popping play Friday. With a runner on and two out in the second inning, Brett Eibner hit a pop up in shallow left. Iglesias ran, keeping his back to the infield, and made a sensational over-the-shoulder catch.

His manager, however, would have preferred he take a more conventional approach.

“I didn’t love it,” Ausmus said. “But he caught it. He has a kind of knack for the flair. I think he sees himself as much a baseball player as an entertainer. But he caught it; that’s the main thing.”

Twitter @cmccosky