Ned Yost media session: June 22
Before Wednesday’s middle game against Arizona, Royals manager Ned Yost spoke about changing the lineup and what prompted him to shake things up. He said that 19 different lineup options were considered before deciding to go with tonight’s order.
“[I wanted to] just freshen it up a little bit,” Yost said. “We’re trying to take a little pressure off some of the younger guys. It gives guys a different look in a different spot for a while.”
Notably, Alex Gordon moves from the leadoff spot to the No. 4 hole. Yost explained that Gordon’s plate discipline allowed him to excel while hitting first in the order, but the skipper envisions his left fielder more as a run producer. Batting in the cleanup spot will provide more opportunities to hit with runners on base.
“He’s been swinging the bat well, and he’ll swing the bat well no matter what spot you put him in,” Yost explained. “Ideally, I would like to have Alex in that three, four or five spot.”
Melky Cabrera will now handle leadoff duties while Eric Hosmer moves up to the second slot. Billy Butler will now bat third. Yost said that Butler deserves to hit in that spot because his hitting numbers are the best on the squad.
“He’s our best performer offensively. He has the highest on-base percentage,” Yost described. “Having Billy down in the five [spot] bothered me a little bit because at the end of the game, typically, your top four hitters are the guys that are going to end up in spots that can help you win or score runs that you’re going to need to win those games. You need those guys at the top of the order so when that turns back around, you’ve got them.”