KC Royals Lineup: Key questions remain unanswered

(Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /
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KC Royals
(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

The success of the KC Royals’ outfield depends in great part on a free agent signing.

As Michael A. Taylor goes, so goes the alignment of Kansas City’s outfield. Things there will be far better if Taylor fulfills the team’s center field hopes.

Despite a subpar career OPS+ (80) and disturbingly low OBP (.291 in seven seasons), the Royals appear ready to open center field to Taylor, suggesting he may well be their first preference. His defense is up to the task, and he’s displayed enough power for a typical KC center fielder but, like Nicky Lopez, Taylor needs to find more ways to get on base.

Taylor succeeding in center field resolves the issue there that remained unresolved when last season ended; it also frees Whit Merrifield for right field, a position exacting less physical toll on the club’s best all-around player, and would leave only the other corner slot in question.

Left field: Does left belong to Franchy Cordero…or someone else?

Internet chatter seems to favor Franchy Cordero for the left field job. But the Internet doesn’t fill out Mike Matheny’s lineup card, and Dayton Moore’s desire to secure a lefty power bat suggests Cordero doesn’t yet own the property Alex Gordon vacated when he retired. All things considered, left is the most likely destination for that lefthanded hitter…if Moore can find him.

Cordero bats lefty, but Moore probably wants more than his .236/.304/.433 career slash. It’s that line, and other Royals’ lack of power, that will cause the Royals to make a move if someone with more punch comes along.