Another Day, Another Game Without a Pinch-Hitter For Ned Yost

The Royals 25 man roster really doesn't make much sense. Somehow the Royals have a bullpen that isn't quite big enough and a bench that can't be deployed. The Royals are basically playing with a 22.5 man roster as far as I can tell. Ned Yost isn't entirely blameless however, as he's not using the tools he does have.

We can see this most clearly in the fact that the Royals have only deployed a pinch-hitter five times in 38 games. Five. 

This refusal to pinch-hit is especially curious given the fact that the Royals have played in close games more or less all season. Look at Friday's game. In the 8th inning of a 3-1 game, the Royals sent Treanor-Escobar-Getz to the plate. Wilson Betemit needs a PA somewhere in there. Mitch Maier is an upgrade over all those guys, unless you believe TREANOR!'s now an OBP machine. A version of this scenario happens every day.

If the Royals can't ever hit for the catcher (because there's a one in a million chance the 2nd catcher gets hurt) and half the lineup are Yost untouchables (Francoeur, Melky, etc.) and a PH has to play the same position for a variation of the catcher rule, then why even carry a bench at all? Just go with a 16 man pitching staff and an extra catcher and hope for the best.

I love that Mitch Maier is getting Major League checks to do almost literally nothing, but the Royals have to figure out what they are doing carrying two backup CFs who combined have 42 PAs. Again, the entire position player side of the roster is seemingly predicated on being prepared for that 15 inning game the Royals are going to have once a year. 

The better option would be to keep Dyson as the backup CF and the PR specialist and replace Mitch with someone that Yost will actually use as a pinch hitter for Getz/Escobar late in games. With Gordon's ability to play 3rd in a pinch, there's no reason to be this rigid. Bring up C-Rob. Hell, bring up Irving Falu, who is a better hitter than Getz or Escobar. Or, as weird as it sounds, bite the bullet and replace Maier with a third catcher. This way, whoever doesn't start in the Betemit/Aviles combo can PH late in games for whatever catcher is playing. 

The Royal lineup has been much better than expected this season. However, because of the catcher/Escobar/Getz combination that plays everyday, they still have an entire inning that's being given away every game. It's odd that Yost has embraced the marginal advantage of PRing Dyson, while Alcides Escobar can bat with the game on the line with regularity.

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