Royals manager Ned Yost has shuffled the lineup, moving Paulo Orlando to the leadoff position and bumping struggling Alcides Escobar down to #8 in the lineup. Escobar had been the primary leadoff for the team ever since late in the 2014 season, when the team began their run of success. According to Rustin Dodd, Ned Yost had been "mulling the idea", and decided to do something to help spark a lineup that is dead last in the American League in runs scored.
Paulo Orlando was hitting .333/.357/.435 in 84 games, and would be second in the American League in batting average if he qualified for the batting title. He has hit leadoff just twice in his career, in a pair of games last April against Oakland. In 550 career plate appearances, he is hitting .295/.317/.439. He has the fifth-worst walk rate among all hitters with at least 200 plate appearances.
Alcides Escobar was struggling mightily with the bat, hitting .253/.279/.310, the worst numbers by any hitter in baseball that qualifies for the batting title. The Royals have had a record of 131-98 with Escobar leading off over the past three seasons, although his abilities seemingly have little to do with that, as he has posted a .298 on-base percentage since the start of the 2014 season.
KC record by leadoff hitter, 2014-2016:— Royals Review (@royalsreview) August 9, 2016
The Royals take on Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox at 7:15 tonight at Kauffman Stadium.