You can’t play a baseball game without having a lineup, and per the MLB official rules:
Unless the home club shall have given previous notice that the game has been postponed or will be delayed in starting, the umpire, or umpires, shall enter the playing field five minutes before the hour set for the game to begin and proceed directly to home base where they shall be met by the managers of the opposing teams. In sequence:
(a) First, the home manager, or his designee, shall give his batting order to the umpire-in-chief, in duplicate.
(b) Next, the visiting manager, or his designee, shall give his batting order to the umpire-in-chief, in duplicate.
While this information is technically subject to change, the Royals have unofficially released their opening day lineup.
Looks like Ned Yost is sticking with a similar structure as he ended the season last year with Whit Merrifield, Adalberto Mondesi, and Alex Gordon at the top.
- We all probably knew Merrifield was leading off, a spot he occupied 112 times last year.
- Adalberto Mondesi batted in eight different spots last year (4th the only absentee), and he settled in at second in the later part of his season
- Jorge Soler batted mostly 2nd and 5th last year. I imagine he is in cleanup duty today because Salvador Perez is out for the season.
- Frank Schwindel will be making his MLB debut, manning the cold corner 5th.
- Chris Owings begins his Bloomquist-esque journey with the Royals, where he is expected to play every position other than catcher, and he might even play that.
- Hunter Dozier actually played more first base last year than third base (and a brief outfield stint), so he is back at the hot corner for today and probably a good chunk of the season given no other alternative really.
- With Perez being out, new signee Martin Maldonado debuts for the Royals. This will be the first time since 2011/2012 with back-to-back opening day starts for players not named Salvador Perez.
- Billy Hamilton will make his Royals debut in center and batting 9th
- Thankfully, the Royals play in a progressive and civilized league that values good hitting, which is why Brad Keller will not be batting today.