The schedule for Billy Butler that night called for one at-bat at an undetermined time, the plight of a designated hitter in a National League city.
"I definitely don't like pinch-hitting," Butler said with a grin. "I don't think anybody likes it. It's extremely hard to do."
Personally, I would have like to have Butler's bat in the lineup at least once in San Diego. Maybe the second game of the series. You know, sandwich a couple of off days around a game where your best hitter gets in there for more than a pinch hit opportunity. Yet, you can't argue with the results you got from Eric Hosmer over the entirety of the series. Hindsight is perfect. Or something along those lines.
Butler being unhappy about his usage in the National League is nothing new. We've seen this sort of stuff when he was moved to full-time DH. The dude feels disrespected from time to time.
Then last night he with 0-4 with a pair of strikeouts and a ground into double play.
On the bright side: Butler now leads the team in pinch hit plate appearances. So he has that going for him.
In that article was the latest Royal Zany Quote. Regarding playing Hosmer over Butler for defensive value.
Yost offered a position that was somewhat counterintuitive: Because his team was struggling to score, they were willing to sacrifice offensive potential for defensive certainty.
"When you're struggling to score runs," Yost said, "the last thing you want to do is not be in a position to keep them from scoring runs."
I would figure that the last thing you want to do when you're not scoring runs is to keep a bat with high production potential on the bench. Eh, what do I know?
"We're already looking at our options," manager Ned Yost said. "We don't think it's going to be a DL thing. We know with where he's at today, he's not going to be available [Friday].
"We'll just go from that point on. If he's not any better [Friday], we'll just shoot for Tuesday after the off-day and see if he's going to be OK by then."
That means your guy Danny Valencia will be at the keystone. Maybe even until Tuesday. Fingers crossed nothing happens to him. We're a stubbed toe away from Johnny Giavotella getting premium major league at bats. By the way, Gio is hitting .352/.410/.484 for the Storm Chasers. I think you know where I fall in the whole Gio debate. But I wouldn't have any issue bringing him up should Infante land on the DL.
The Royals always downplay this sort of stuff anyway. We'll see what happens over the weekend. At least back-dating a DL stretch is possible.
-- Last night was the Royals second 1-0 loss this year. They've had six 1-0 losses since 2012.
Looking through the history of 1-0 Royal losses, it does seem to happen roughly twice a season. Although - fun stat alert - the Royals had a stretch from July 29, 1978 to May 28, 1983 where it never happened. Here's the full list from the Dayton Moore era:
Three more chances to get revenge in Seattle. Have a great weekend.