As things stand right now, the Kansas City Royals are a playoff team. Heading into last night’s action, they possessed a two game lead over the free falling Seattle Mariners. Even with all of their issues when it comes to scoring runs or finding relievers that are not the triumvirate of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland, the Royals would still be the second Wild Card.
With the Royals seemingly destined to reach the playoffs baring a monumental collapse, it is time to start thinking about what a possible playoff roster would look like. For the most part, the players are likely set, aside from one or two options on the bench. However, one player that may not be guaranteed a spot on the postseason roster is Billy Butler.
One of the longest tenured players on the Royals, it may be strange to think of the team reaching the postseason without Butler. However, it has become clear over the past two weeks that he just is not a part of their plans. Since September 3rd, Butler has played all of four times, going a combined 0-14 with a walk and an RBI. One would think that if Butler was going to be involved in the postseason, he would have received a lot more playing time.
More from KC Royals News
- KC Royals Rumors: Is a monster move in the cards?
- KC Royals Free Agent Hunt: 3 Tampa Bay pitchers
- Grading the 2022 KC Royals: The $25 million man
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Expectations met
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Day 3 update
Even though Billy Butler is the de facto backup first baseman, that may not be enough to secure a spot on the postseason roster. If anything should happen to Eric Hosmer, Raul Ibanez could theoretically play at first base. His veteran presence and leadership may be considered to valuable to leave off the roster. Salvador Perez played first during the Winter Leagues this past year. Ned Yost may have options other than Billy Butler should anything happen.
At this point, the starting lineup for the Royals is likely set, with Josh Willingham as the designated hitter. Erik Kratz and Jarrod Dyson will be on the bench. That would seemingly leave one or two spots, depending on how many relievers the Royals decide to carry, for one of Terrance Gore, Ibanez, Butler and/or Christian Colon, if his broken finger heals in time. Gore may well have an inside track, as the Royals are fascinated with his speed.
The decision to keep Billy Butler on the playoff roster may well come down to the bullpen. If the Royals and Ned Yost decide to have thirteen pitchers, Butler may not end up seeing October baseball. Even a twelve man pitching staff may not be a guarantee that Butler makes the roster, as Ibanez or Colon may get the nod over him.
Billy Butler has meant a lot to the Royals over the years. For years, he was the best player on a series of mediocre Royals teams. Now that the Royals may end up making the postseason, Butler may not be a part of the Royals return to glory.