When Alex Rios first hit the disabled list after the first week of the season, it seemed as though Jarrod Dyson had a prime opportunity to prove to the Kansas City Royals that he could be an every day player. Even though he played more than a typical fourth outfielder, Dyson was still not someone that the Royals seemingly felt comfortable with starting every day.
When Rios was on the disabled list, Dyson did nothing to dispel that impression. He was unable to produce any offense, and with Paulo Orlando starting his major league career as the triples machine known as KC3PO, Dyson began to find himself back as a bench option. As of May 24, Dyson had produced a meager .180/.219/.262 batting line in his first 67 plate appearances.
Since that point, Dyson has begun to find his way offensively again. In his last 32 plate appearances, Dyson has posted a .467/.500/.733 batting line, buoyed by a thoroughly unsustainable .560 batting average on balls in play. This success has led to Dyson doing what he does best, causing havoc on the basepaths with his legs.
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While Jarrod Dyson has heated up for the Kansas City Royals, the exact opposite happened with Alex Rios once he came back from the disabled list. Since his return on May 31st, Rios has posted a thoroughly mediocre .194/.221/.214 batting line, with two doubles accounting for both of his extra base hits. Amazing how, just six weeks ago, Rios was looked to as the possible savior of the Royals offensive struggles.
Now, with Rios himself struggling and Dyson having become red hot with the bat, it may be time to give the Royals speedster another chance at more consistent playing time. Even though it is virtually impossible for Dyson to continue to perform at the level he has over the past few weeks, his overall .275/.313/.418 batting line has led to a league average OPS. Rios, meanwhile, has an OPS+ of 44 on the year.
Call to the Pen
Dyson has also provided the Royals with more value defensively, as he has been an above average defensive right fielder in his chances. Rios, meanwhile, does not seem to be the same player he was during Spring Training and into the first week of the season. The Royals, obviously, need to make a change.
As the Royals are still struggling on offense, it may be best to ride the hot bat. Dyson certainly has provided far more than Rios has over the past few weeks, so it makes sense to get him in the lineup more often. Should his bat go cold again, and if Rios heats up, then the Royals can make another change in the lineup.
The Kansas City Royals are not getting enough production from right field. Perhaps Jarrod Dyson, and his recent hot streak, can provide a solution, even if it would be temporary.