For the 105th game of the Royals season, manager Ned Yost crafted a lineup as if the preceding 104 games had essentially not occurred. The batting order was an almost exact replica of the one sketched out for opening day, with little concession given to the subsequent events. Nori Aoki entered the day with a .661 on-base plus slugging percentage, which ranked eighth among the team’s regulars. Omar Infante entered the day with a .666 OPS, which ranked seventh. So, of course, they batted first and second. Eric Hosmer had missed four games due to a lack of strength in one of his hands. He needed to test out the injury batting practice. And he, of course, immediately returned to the No. 3 hole. And so on, and so forth. The lone acknowledge of the previous four months was Billy Butler. He had dropped from fourth, his position on opening day, to sixth. Salvador Perez replaced him at the cleanup spot. Butler played the hero twice during the previous weekend’s series against the Indians. The team had just traded away Danny Valencia, who Yost had said might siphon away some time from Butler at DH. Now, with Valencia gone, Butler’s place was secure. Right? Well, maybe. “If Billy keeps hitting, Billy’s going to DH,” Yost said before the game.
Billy Butler needs to hit to stay in Royals lineup, Ned Yost says
Kansas City Star | Jul 30