Kansas City Royals Still Looking for Right Field Answer


For much of the season, right field has been a hole for the Kansas City Royals. While Alex Rios had a hot first week to the regular season, he has not been the same since his injury. Jarrod Dyson and Paulo Orlando did not seize the opportunity when the increased playing time presented itself. Add in Jonny Gomes and the potential for Ben Zobrist to get the occasional game in right, and the Royals have quite the collection for the one spot in the lineup.

At this point, no one can be certain of who will take on that role come the postseason, including manager Ned Yost. Even though the Royals have quite a few options, he certainly has not settled upon an answer.

"“We’re still looking at things,” Yost said before Wednesday night’s game against the Twins. “We’re looking at three or four different things.”"

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While Rios may hold the starting job, at least nominally, the Kansas City Royals will make their determination on who starts going forward based on production. Even though Rios has a solid track record over his career, his .251/.285/.330 batting line heading into yesterday’s action is not something that would inspire confidence for a postseason run. With players like Gomes and Dyson, who appear to be a platoon waiting to happen, Rios may find himself on an ever shortening leash.

As the Royals look to determine their postseason roster and put the best 25 players together for a chance to return to the World Series, it will simply come down to a matter of production. If Rios can get hot over the last few weeks, then the spot in the lineup is likely his. If Gomes, Dyson or Orlando suddenly enter a hot streak, they will likely get the nod. It may be that simple. Sentimentality, and a differance towards the veteran guard, will not apply.

Yost and the Royals have already proven that they will look for that production in the lineup, slotting Ben Zobrist at second and making Omar Infante all but invisible lately. That same approach will likely come to right field, at least when someone steps up and seizes the job for themselves. Until then, the Royals will keep cycling players through the lineup, trying to find that answer.

The Kansas City Royals are looking for someone to produce and take the right field opening. Alex Rios is officially on notice.

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