KC Royals Considering Cheslor Cuthbert in Outfield

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The KC Royals are currently thin in the outfield. However, they may have an internal candidate that could develop into an option.

The KC Royals need outfield help. As currently constituted, the Royals outfield would likely start Paulo Orlando, Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson. While that would be a stellar defensive outfield, one has to wonder if there would be enough production from Orlando or Dyson in the lineup.

Even though the Royals are still hoping to bring back Alex Gordon, the prices that outfielders are commanding may be more than Kansas City finds palatable. The Royals do need to not just worry about this year, but need to find a way to potentially extend Cain, as well as other pieces of their core, while operating within their budgetary guidelines. As such, they may need to get creative to find those needed pieces in the outfield.

One such idea that has been bandied about is to move Cheslor Cuthbert to the outfield. According to Dayton Moore, the Royals believe that Cuthbert is athletic enough to be able to transition to the outfield, potentially opening a path for more playing time.

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It is certainly an interesting idea. The KC Royals prospect definitely looked as though he belonged during his brief time in the majors, even if his .217/.280/.370 batting line would indicate otherwise. He was not overmatched, striking out only nine times in 46 at bats and had four extra base hits. Cuthbert may well be ready for the majors, and adding another position would help make it easier for the Royals to keep him on the roster.

However, the idea that Cuthbert would be able to slide over to the outfield is purely speculation. Cuthbert has not played an inning at any outfield position since being in the Royals system, and while his arm may play up as an outfielder, it is still a much different spot in the field.

The Royals did have success with converting Gordon from third to left field. Perhaps they see a parallel in Cuthbert’s game that would translate to left, just as Gordon was able to make that move over. While Cuthbert could develop into a solid corner outfielder, it is difficult to imagine that he could be that All-World presence that Gordon had become. Yet, if the Royals do find another solid defensive outfielder, or they give Dyson a true chance to start, Cuthbert may only need to be about average defensively.

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With third base blocked for the next few years by Mike Moustakas, the KC Royals are searching for ways to give Cheslor Cuthbert a chance. A transition to the outfield may be the best option, provided that he proves he can handle his new defensive assignment.

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