Apr 7, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) runs the bases after hitting a home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE

The Early Season Lineup Madness of Ned Yost

Well the time has come in which at 5-14 I want to make a call for consistency. What you may ask? Ned Yost needs to settle on an everyday lineup and stick to it. The need for this article didn’t arise until well today, because like a fool I bought in that the lineup that was trotted out in Cleveland would stick.

Alex Gordon by the numbers gives you the best option as a leadoff hitter. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

My idea for a lineup is to have one that you use every single day, with the exception that it be tweaked for day games. This hasn’t been the case at all through 19 games I’ve long felt guys will get comfortable if they can get into a routine.

So far this season Alex Gordon, Jason Bourgeois, Jarrod Dyson, Yuniesky Betancourt and Chris Getz have all batted leadoff for the Royals. I won’t accept that if healthy Lorenzo Cain would have batted leadoff because the highest he’d batted had been second which only happened on opening day.

Gordon has shown flashes of coming out of his early season slump but hasn’t yet found a consistent home this season in the lineup. He’s batted leadoff opening week, moved down to the fifth spot for a couple days then he’s moved up to number two. Ideally Gordon might be best in the fifth spot but over the last year he’s been good at the top of the lineup on a team that lacks that guy.

In 89-games during the 2011 season he hit .305, 383 OBP, .916 OPS in 422 plate appearances. In addition he hit 18 homeruns, was 10-of-16 stealing bases, 56 RBI’s with 197 total bases. Not what the typical leadoff does but it helped everyone else out in the lineup.

Dyson tonight in Minnesota is getting another chance to leadoff after being recalled from Omaha this afternoon with Bourgeois being sent down. Getz got the chance in Cleveland and we were told he be “the” guy.

Prior to the series opener in the Twin Cities Ned has used 15 lineups in 19 games, last season Yost had 87 and to up the numbers to include interleague play it was 89. The fifth spot has been held by Gordon or Jeff Francoeur, let me say I like Franchy in the clubhouse and defensively but the guy needs a break from batting fifth or a day off.

Francoeur is hitting .227, no homeruns, three RBIs while scoring just six-runs, hardly befitting of battling fifth in the lineup. Move him down get his groove back then put him back if that’s where you want him Ned.

Mike Moustakas occupying the sixth spot (here is your guy who should be promoted to fifth batting .303, 2-homeruns, 8-runs scored and nine RBIs). With the numbers I just listed here is your fifth spot batter which at this point makes the lineup better. At the end of the day if you gave KC fans a 3-4-5 of Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer and Moustakas you’d have a grateful fan base.

Having the same lineup day in and day out helps players I firmly believe because they are creatures of habit. Telling a baseball player they will be in the same spot daily will put them at ease which usually produces better results. Now if after a period of say one-two weeks players aren’t producing then changes need to be made.

I concede the importance of righty/lefty match-ups plus prolonged slumps but changing lineups just for the rational of it didn’t work the day before or consecutive days doesn’t work for me. Pick a lineup let it go and then makes changes accordingly is all many of us ask.

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Tags: AL Central Alex Gordon Billy Butler Chris Getz Eric Hosmer Jarrod Dyson Jason Bourgeois Jeff Francouer Kansas City Kansas City Royals KC KC Royals Lorenzo Cain Mike Moustakas MLB Ned Yost Yuniesky Betancourt

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