Starling is expected to miss 3-4 weeks after suffering a strained oblique, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
This is quite a bummer for the outfielder who was nearing a big-league debut. If a promotion is still on the table, Starling's projected recovery will likely limit him to late-season work as a September call-up. Unfortunately for the sixth-year minor leaguer, making a major-league impact may have to wait until next year.
Starling is on the cusp of making his MLB debut, Sam Mellinger of The Kansas City Star reports.
Entering Friday, Starling was slashing .333/.367/.508 over his last 35 games with Triple-A Omaha. He's made adjustments to his swing that have him closer than ever to donning a big-league uniform, and Starling's manager, Brian Poldberg, thinks the 24-year-old is "as ready right now as he's ever been." It's no secret the outfielder has the defensive prowess for MLB, but whether Starling can hit big-league pitching will ultimately decide where his baseball career ends up.
Starling has been working daily in the batting cage with Triple-A Omaha's hitting coach, Tommy Gregg, to adjust his stance and hand placement, Doug Thomas of the Omaha World-Herald reports.
The former first-round pick (2011) is breaking down every aspect of his game in hopes of leaping the final hurdle to an MLB debut. Starling mentioned he's even putting in the time to improve his bunting skills. "I saw the third baseman play back a little bit," he said. "Just trying to get that game going a little bit. It definitely helps getting those extra little knocks." The 24-year-old outfielder's defensive abilities have never been questioned, but Starling's anemic offense is holding him back. Last season, over 109 games with Double- and Triple-A, he hit just .183 with a 36.3 percent strikeout rate. Kansas City's management is still hopeful Starling will evolve into a serviceable MLB player.
Starling was optioned to Triple-A Omaha, Josh Vernier of 610 Sports Radio reports.
The former top prospect toiled away to a .183/.235/.534 line combined with Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha. The 24-year-old has tumbled down the farm depth chart at his position behind the likes of Hunter Dozier and Jorge Bonifacio. Starling remains young enough to turn things around, but the hype has fizzled, and he'll need to improve on his .232/.310/.381 career line in the minors to reignite it.
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.
| 16 |
| 17 |
| 18 |
| 19 |
| 20 |
| 21 |
| 23 |
| 24 |
| 25 |
| 26 |
| 27 || 28 |
|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|