Fifty-four games and 38 losses into a KC Royals season growing more dismal almost by the day, at least one thing is crystal clear about rookie manager Matt Quatraro.
He's a skipper not wedded to set lineups at the plate or in the field—who'll bat where in the order, and to what position he'll assign certain players, is anyone's guess. Yet Quatraro's is an approach, if not a system, with which he seems comfortable and prone to stick.
He seems, however, to be settling on an infield of Nick Pratto at first base, Michael Massey at second, Maikel Garcia at third, and Bobby Witt Jr. at shortstop. But is it really the infield the Royals want? Let's see, position by position.
First base: Should it be Nick Pratto or Vinnie Pasquantino for the KC Royals?
This question required little thought when the season began. Based on his excellent rookie season last year, and Pratto's disappointing one that ended with a trip back to the minors, Pasquantino was the answer. After all, he'd claimed the position as his almost from the day the Royals made room for him by trading Carlos Santana to Seattle, finished 2022 with 10 homers and a .295/.383/.450 slash, and played adequate defense, while Pratto's .184 average sent him packing to Triple-A.
So it was Pasquantino opened this season at first. But faced with an inept offense, Kansas City looked to Omaha for help in late April and recalled Pratto. Quatraro immediately penciled him in at first and Pasquantino into the DH slot and, after going 2-for-3 in Sunday's walk-off win over Washington, Pratto is slashing .289/.389/.423 with a pair of home runs and 13 RBIs.
The answer to the first base question, then, has changed. Now, it's Pratto, especially because his defense is far better than Pasquantino's, and Pasquantino becoming the primary DH keeps his big bat in the lineup.
How about second base?