Aug 30, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) hits a home run in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

More Mixed Signals, More Awkward Logic


For the third straight game Monday, David Lough started in right field and batted leadoff. Lough, a 26-year-old whose minor league numbers look like those of a minor leaguer and not a prospect, has been the quintessential “guy that deserves a shot” within the Royals organization for a few years now.

What’s most puzzling about the move isn’t so much that Lough is seeing playing time in the Major Leagues – he’s probably better than Jeff Francouer at this point anyway – it’s that he’s seeing playing time ahead of Wil Myers, the Baseball America Minor League Player Of The Year. And, he’s batting leadoff instead of Alex Gordon.

Normally the latter fact shouldn’t concern a soul, but that is until Ned Yost unleashed a gem of a comment courtesy of this story on Royals.com:

“It’s not perfect. If I had a leadoff hitter, he wouldn’t be hitting leadoff. It’s just a spot where he kind of fits right now,” Yost said.

Read that back one more time and try not to cough up some Kool-Aid. The “he” Yost was referring to was Lough who had a .317 on-base percentage this season in Triple-A. The neon-colored elephant in the room wearing bells around its neck singing “Hello My Baby” like Michigan J. Frog Yost was referring to when he said “if I had a leadoff hitter…” is Alex Gordon.

The argument for Gordon staying as the leadoff hitter of an offense that struggles to score runs is compelling. The argument against Gordon staying as the leadoff hitter is flimsy. The argument that the Royals don’t currently have a leadoff hitter on their roster is insanity.

It’s one thing to send mixed signals to your franchise’s best prospect who is tearing apart the minor leagues the same way the two chosen ones did, and you pass him up for a promotion for some contrived Rule V, 40-man roster reason. It’s another to stick your head completely in the sand to having Gordon’s .360+ on-base percentage getting as many at-bats as possible in a lineup that shows no regard for the value of outs.

But, I guess that’s exactly why Gordon isn’t batting leadoff.

Tags: Alex Gordon David Lough Kansas City Royals Wil Myers

  • http://twitter.com/oldmanduggan Josh Duggan

    Wait. Gordon can bat leadoff? That’s not what I’ve been told by Ned Yost, and he knows more than all of us about anything in, on, or around the dirt.

    • Kevin Scobee

      Ah yes, the self-fulfilling logic that is Baseball: if you knew anything about baseball you’d have a job in baseball; if you have a job in baseball, you know about baseball. If you don’t, you don’t.

  • jimfetterolf

    David Lough is getting a shot because of several reasons: he’s been a good corporate soldier, he is old in Process years and likely to be traded, the outfield is getting crowded, and he is already on the 40-man roster. His promotion has nothing to do with Wil Myers and has been predicted for a few months.

    As for Gordon at leadoff, his gaudy OBP wasn’t translating into runs scored and driven in, so, with his average sort of speed and good power potential, a drop in the order was thought to make him more productive.