The Royals offense continues to scuffle, so Ned Yost decided to turn to an old friend in the leadoff spot - Alcides Escobar. Escobar was the leadoff hitter for the Royals late in the 2014 season and through the playoffs, and through much of their 2015 championships season as well. He was named ALCS MVP and the team was successful despite the fact Escobar’s offensive numbers were subpar.
This year, Escobar has been one of the worst hitters in baseball, hitting .183/.220/.250 in 30 games. Escobar is a career .257/.291/.317 hitter in 238 games from the leadoff spot. Over the last five seasons, Escobar has the 11th worst on-base percentage in baseball. The Royals went 91-55 with Escobar in the leadoff spot from 2014-2015 but were just 38-43 with him leading off last year, leading to his demotion in the lineup.
Ned Yost on Alcides Escobar's return to the leadoff spot: "It's a trip down memory lane."— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) May 8, 2017
Escobar becomes the fourth different leadoff hitter already for the Royals this year joining Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, and Whit Merrifield. Ned Yost said over the weekend he considered putting Lorenzo Cain at leadoff, but he liked pairing him with Eric Hosmer in the lineup. Cain does move up to second in the lineup, followed by Hosmer, Salvador Perez who is at DH tonight, and Jorge Soler. Mike Moustakas gets the night off against lefty Blake Snell.
Royals Tonight: Escobar 6, Cain 8, Hosmer 3, Perez DH, Soler 9, Merrifield 4, Cuthbert 5, Gordon 7, Butera 2 (RHP Karns)— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) May 8, 2017