Royals Report: 3 Things About Crash In Cleveland
By John Viril
3) Paulo Orlando Face Planted As Defensive Replacement
Manager Ned Yost rested right-handed hitting Paulo Orlando Thursday in favor of recent call-up Reymond Fuentes. Not only did the lefty hitting Fuentes have the platoon advantage against Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco, Yost likes to get call-ups into action as soon as possible—probably to cut off any possible anxiety response.
However, with a one run lead in the ninth inning, Yost inserted the speedy Orlando as a defensive replacement for Fuentes (who had gone 3-4 on the night with one run scored). Orlando promptly misplayed DH Carlos Santana‘s single by bobbling the ball, allowing Santana to advance to second.
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
With one out, 22-year-old Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor slashed a drive into the right center gap. Orlando attempted to play the hero by diving for the catch. Not only did he miss, the ball rolled all the way to the wall for a triple to put the winning run on third base.
The mistake cost the Kansas City Royals the game when Mike Napoli hit a sacrifice fly to left to gift Cleveland with a walk-off win.
Orlando’s made a terrible decision to dive for the ball. Even if he made the play, the tying run would have scored from third base. Lindor would have had, at best, a double; which would have required Cleveland to get another hit off Soria to finish out the win in the ninth. The gamble would have made much more sense if the play would have preserved a win or if the run at third base would have cost KC the game. But, the risk of allowing a sacrifice to score the WINNING run in exchange for the second out wasn’t a good move.
Though the play wasn’t an error, Orlando was a disaster as a defensive replacement Thursday night. Both runs against Soria were scored as earned, but BOTH of them involved bad plays from Orlando.