KC Royals: Alex Gordon Needs To Bat Second Upon Return
By John Viril
The KC Royals expect to get left fielder Alex Gordon back for their weekend series against the Houston Astros which begins Friday. Manager Ned Yost should immediately install him as the Kansas City Royals’ no. 2 hitter.
If Ned Yost needs an excuse to remove light-hitting Alcides Escobar from the no. 2 position in the batting order, Alex Gordon’s return provided the perfect excuse. Not only does Gordon bat left handed, which helps him advance runners since he tends to hit grounders to the right side, he also takes walks.
In short, Gordon is an excellent no. 2 hitter, as opposed to the awful Alcides Escobar.
Yeah, Alex Gordon was hitting .211/.319/.331 when he broke his hand against the Chicago White Sox May 32. Notice that even when running ice cold at the plate, he was still getting on base at a .319 clip. A slumping Gordon gets on base a whole lot more than Alcides Escobar’s career .296 OBP with the KC Royals.
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Heck, Alcides Escobar has exceeded a .319 OBP in only ONE full season of his Kansas City Royals career, back when he slashed .293/.331/.390 in 2012. That season was Escobar’s best at the plate in his seven full seasons in major-league baseball. Escobar has exceeded an OBP of .300 in only two of his seven full seasons, posting a .317 OBP in 2014 along with his .331 season in 2012.
According to MLB.com KC Royals beat writer Jeffrey Flanagan, Ned Yost has already decided where he will hit Gordon in the lineup. Flanagan speculates that Gordon will take over the no. 2 position, but notes that Yost has fooled analysts and fans before. ESPN.com’s Doug Mittler also has suggested that Gordon could move up to the no. 2 position when he returns this weekend.
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Knowing Yost, this consensus that Alex Gordon should take over at the no. .2 position in the KC Royals lineup means that Gordon will probably hit no. 8 on Saturday. Batting him second just makes too much sense, and fails to stick it to sabermetrics guys. I do respect Ned Yost as one of the best managers in Kansas City Royals history, but many of his decisions drive me crazy.
I expect him to do it again this weekend.