Ned Yost has shaken up the lineup in an attempt to get more offense from the Royals, after they have scored just seven runs in their last 60 innings of baseball. Struggling left fielder Alex Gordon is bumped out of the leadoff spot down to six, with Whit Merrifield inserted as the new leadoff hitter. Gordon was hitting just .176/.253/.221 with four walks and 14 strikeouts in 17 games.
Royals Today: Merrifield 4, Moustakas DH, Bonifacio 8, Hosmer 3, Cuthbert 5, Gordon 7, Escobar 6, Moss 9, Butera 2 (RHP Hammel)— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) April 23, 2017
Salvador Perez will miss a second straight game in what the team is calling “neck stiffness.” Drew Butera gets the start. Lorenzo Cain will also get a day off, with rookie Jorge Bonifacio hitting third in the lineup in just his second Major League game. Bonifacio will be in centerfield, a position he spent all of 72 games playing in the minor leagues.
Brandon Moss also gets bumped down to #8 in the lineup after a horrendous start to the season. Mike Moustakas will get a half-day off as he starts at designated hitter with Cheslor Cuthbert at third base.
The Royals are dead last in all of baseball in runs scored, and have not scored more than three runs in a game in their last seven games, scoring just ten games in that stretch.