Billy Butler Is Gone, and Let's Hope Tony Peña Jr. Is Next





Swing and a miss.

Jose Guillen's post-game tirade may have claimed a target.

Today, Billy Butler departs for Omaha. This is a shock, because in April, Butler and Alex Gordon were the two most-promising Royals hitters in the lineup. Butler may or may not have been a target of Guillen's clubhouse criticism of "babies" who are satisfied with collecting base hits but no victories.

That said, Butler's play is lackadaisical. His indifference on the base paths and in the field were unsettling. In Toronto, he even lost track of how many outs the Royals recorded in one inning. But the fact that he also could not hit for power as a first baseman made his poor play inexcusable.

Infielder Mark Aviles replaces Butler in the lineup. Aviles isn't a natural shortstop, so Tony Peña Jr. may or may not remain in the lineup. At the least, Aviles' bat -- .338 with 10 home runs as of Tuesday -- could make him a productive second baseman at the major-league level. I hope that Aviles and Callaspo (or, really, any combination not including Peña) form the keystone combination for the rest of the weekend.

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