KANSAS CITY, Mo. It seems a distant memory now, but Royals left fielder Alex Gordon once struggled every bit as much Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer are now.
"I know what they're going through," Gordon said.
All-Star Billy Butler knows, too.
"Oh, yeah," he said. "We all go through it. It's a hard game. You find that out at this level."
As Gordon and Butler watch Moustakas, hitting just .176, and Hosmer, hitting .264 with just one homer, they can't help but recall their own growing pains, a time when the game appeared too tough to conquer.
After two so-so seasons with the Royals in 2007 and 2008, Gordon's career took a dramatic downturn in 2009. A hip injury slowed him that season, and when he finally got healthy he still was hitting only .198 in early August when the Royals sent him down.
Gordon vowed to come back strong in 2010. But he was hitting just .194 in early May when the Royals again shipped him to Omaha.
"Yes, the one thing you learn is that baseball is a difficult ...