Sep 15, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost (3) watches from the dugout in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Ned Yost Announces the 2014 Kansas City Royals Starting Lineup

It is February 5th today. Pitchers and catchers do not report for over a week, and the positions players are not due until two weeks for today. Yet, that did not stop Ned Yost from naming his starting lineup and batting order the other day. As things stand, here is the lineup as Yost envisions it:

Sep 18, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost (3) argues a call with first base umpire Bill Welke (52) in the fifth inning of the game against the Cleveland Indians at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

1. RF Norichika Aoki

2. 2B Omar Infante

3. 1B Eric Hosmer

4. DH Billy Butler

5. LF Alex Gordon

6. C Salvador Perez

7. 3B Mike Moustakas

8. CF Lorenzo Cain

9. SS Alcides Escobar

With this lineup, Yost gets his left-right-left lineup that he desires, making it impossible for an opposing manager to bring in a lefty specialist for more than one batter without facing a right handed bat. Yost also feels that the bottom of the lineup is going to produce for the team this year, maintaining his belief that the Royals have a strong lineup from top to bottom.

“You’re not going to have any dead spots,” Yost said. “You’re not going to get something going, then bam! You run into a wall and have to get it going again. At least I hope not.”

Having that belief in the bottom of the lineup is certainly a leap of faith for Ned Yost. While it appears as though Mike Moustakas is responding to coaching and is looking to get himself on track to be the player that the Royals thought he would be, he still needs to prove that he can carry that over to the regular season. Lorenzo Cain needs to prove that he can last through an entire season. And Alcides Escobar will need to hit at a level that does not draw comparisons to Rafael Belliard.

There is no question that the Royals lineup is improved. Based off the expected improvement from the middle of the lineup and the improved top of the order, the Royals should be able to outpace their mediocre run total from last year. Yet to say that the lineup is not going to have any dead spots before Spring Training has even begun is quite optimistic.

A lot can change between now and the start of the regular season. Players can get hurt, or someone can appear out of nowhere and claim a starting job that appeared to be locked in for another player. Yet, in the mind of Ned Yost, the Royals starting lineup is virtually etched in stone. Hopefully, he is correct with his feeling about the lineup, and the Royals bats can propel the team into the postseason.

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Tags: Kansas City Royals Ned Yost

  • Royals_Fan

    I like this line up and I think most people figured this was what it would be.

    People want to know the pitching rotation. I think it’ll be Shields, Vargas, Guthrie, Duffy, Chen.


    He over inflates the importance of the left/right variation in hitting order. If guys are hitting well, it shouldn’t matter as much as he thinks it does. Teams can still bring in a specialist to get out one batter if it’s the heart of the order late in a game. The bottom of the order still looks pretty weak and I haven’t seen or heard much of anything that would make me think its improved.

  • jessanders

    L/R/L doesn’t have nearly as much of an impact in terms of success, especially with players who show almost no platoon split (or do better against same-handedness) like Gordon and Infante.

    What this does, in effect, is give your best hitter (Butler) and 3rd best hitter (Gordon) fewer at bats.

    The old school idea of lineup construction has been shown to do no good. Butler should be hitting towards the top of the order, if not lead off.

    • Royals_Fan

      So he can hit into double plays or fielders choice or strike out on a slider low and away
      like he did ALL last year. When fans know what pitches a batter is going to see, maybe Butler could figure out that they are going to throw that to him. I don’t care what his BA was or the fact that he had an on base percentage that was high or he had 15 HRs. 12 were solo HRs, pitchers started walking to get to Butler and we had to do hit an runs any time we had a runner on first because he was a liability to ground into a double play. Grounding to short or second was a norm for Butler.

      To call Butler our #1 hitter is a joke. I want them to trade him at the ASB. I wanted them to trade him before the year even started. Not only because he’s had one year of good baseball but because our DH position is changing. (Before you call Butler an All Star, he made the team on a technicality. Do you really think he would have made the team if it wasn’t in KC?). The DH position is changing into a position for a fielder to take a break but still have the bat in the line up. Butler isn’t a fielder and when Perez, Moose, Esky, Infante, Gordon, Cain or Aoki and when they need a break, what does Butler do…sits on the bench.

      My rant, Butler is over rated. I haven’t figured out why fans love him so much and I haven’t liked him for the last 3 years. He’s slow, can’t field, and his bat is inconsistent. Why pay him $12.5M to be average?

  • Chris Hotchkiss


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