Royals fans will get their wish as rookie Whit Merrifield will see the majority of action at second base going forward, according to manager Ned Yost. The 27-year old Whit Merrifield has served as a utility player, filling in at third base and left field as well as second base. But after a hot start that has seen him hit .340/.352/.453 in his first 13 games, Yost says he will get the majority of action at second.
"He's going to play a lot of second base," said Yost, who gave Merrifield a routine day off on Thursday. "The majority of the time, he'll play second base."
The move comes after a defensive miscue in the eighth inning of Thursday's game by regular second baseman Omar Infante cost the Royals a run that ultimately led to a 5-4 loss to Cleveland. Infante has had trouble on a number of throws this year, compounding his poor hitting numbers. The 34-year old is hitting .239/.279/.321 in 38 games this year.
Infante is in the third year of a four-year, $30 million deal. He has battled a number of injuries the last few seasons, including to his throwing elbow. Since signing with the Royals in 2014, Omar Infante has hit .238/.269/.328, the worst offensive numbers in baseball over that stretch. Despite the poor hitting, Infante is currently second in All-Star voting at second base.