In just five days, the Royals will open up the 2017 season against the Minnesota Twins. There are a few new faces in the lineup, such as designated hitter Brandon Moss and young second baseman Raúl Mondesí. While some old faces will hit in their usual place in the lineup, Ned Yost had some decisions to make on who would lead off.
This morning on 610 Sports Radio, Ned Yost, as part of his weekly Wednesday appearances on Fescoe in the Morning, revealed his Opening Day starting lineup.
LF Alex Gordon
3B Mike Moustakas
CF Lorenzo Cain
1B Eric Hosmer
C Salvador Pérez
DH Brandon Moss
RF Paulo Orlando
SS Alcides Escobar
2B Raúl Mondesí
Danny Duffy will get the start against Ervin Santana in Target Field in Minneapolis.
Gordon has historically fared well in the leadoff spot, with a career line of .277/.352/.449 in 320 games. He is coming off a down year, but has still demonstrated the best ability to draw walks out of any Royals hitter the past few seasons. His spot in the lead off spot does give the Royals two lefties in the top two spots, something Ned Yost has been reluctant to do in the past.
Mike Moustakas will be looking to recover from a knee injury that kept him out four months last year, but he has been a different hitter since adjusting his approach in 2015. Lorenzo Cain hits #3 after missing the final six weeks last year with a wrist injury. Eric Hosmer will look to capitalize on his contract year from the cleanup spot.
Salvador Pérez will hit fifth, with his knee hopefully recovered from his collision in the World Baseball Classic. Brandon Moss and his tremendous power will hit sixth, with Paulo Orlando hitting seventh with Jorge Soler out with an oblique injury. Alcides Escobar and Raúl Mondesí round out the lineup, giving the Royals a tremendous amount of speed at the bottom of the lineup.