Starling, 24, is hitting .200/.244/.292 since his promotion from Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
The 2011 fifth overall pick's struggles stem from a six percent walk rate and 35 percent strikeout rate. He doesn't look like a candidate to be called up with the September roster expansion.
Despite a meager .185/.251/.322 line to begin the season over 62 games at Double-A, Starling was advanced to the Pacific Coast League for the first time last weekend. Strikeouts have always been a persistent issue for Starling, who is fanning at a 33.3% clip following the promotion after carrying a 31.8% strikeout rate at Double-A.
This is the rare minor league promotion where the team is hoping a move up the ladder will jumpstart a player's production. Starling hardly earned the promotion, hitting .183/.251/.323, but the team likes the idea of rebooting his batting average. Starling took a big step back this year after making impressive improvements last season, when he struck out at a 24.9-percent clip at Double-A. This year that mark is up to 31.5 percent, which is more in line with his disappointing career norms.
Starling went 3-for-39 in his last 10 games at Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
At the start of the 2016 campaign, Starling picked up where he left off in 2015, sustaining a batting average in the realm of .250 until his recent slump. His line now sits at .195/.282/.376 and he's struck out in an astounding 40.6 percent of his 133 at-bats this season. Due to his struggles, Starling is seeing less playing time and has been replaced by Terrance Gore in center field. Since taking to starting role in center field on May 20, Gore has gone 6-for-23.
Bubba Starling was optioned to Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Monday, Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports.
Starling struggled a bit against major league pitching, going 2-for-18 with a home run and three RBI in eight games this spring. He'll head back to Double-A to hopefully build off of a strong 2015 campaign and possibly move up in the organization at some point of the coming season.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2014||AFA-Wilmington Blue Rock||132||482||67||105||23||4||9||54||49||150||17||2||.304||.338||.218|
|2015||AA-Northwest Arkansas N||91||331||51||84||19||4||10||32||30||91||4||5||.318||.426||.254|
|2015||AFA-Wilmington Blue Rock||12||44||6||17||4||0||2||12||7||17||2||1||.471||.614||.386|
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