Back in late June and early July, Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales made five starts in right field on an interleague road trip through St. Louis and Philadelphia.
Royals manager Ned Yost sought a way to keep Morales’ hot bad in the lineup. And Morales responded with one of the hottest stretches of the season.
But as the Royals began their final interleague road series on Tuesday at Marlins Park in Miami, Yost said Morales would be used strictly as an option off the bench.
“If we need to double-switch, he could be an option out there,” Yost said. “But right now we’re getting pretty good production out of the three outfielders that we have.”
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For now, Yost appears comfortable with the usual outfield rotation of Alex Gordon, Paulo Orlando and Lorenzo Cain. Orlando has settled in as the Royals’ leadoff hitter, while Gordon has come alive during an eight-game winning streak. Cain also showed signs of breaking out offensively during a recent homestand.
Morales is batting .246 with a .333 on-base percentage and four homers in August. In addition, Marlins Park features one of the larger outfields in the major leagues, with dimensions comparable to Kauffman Stadium.
“We did it earlier in the year, because we had options,” Yost said. “We had guys (in the outfield) that weren’t swinging the bats that great.”
For now, that has changed. So Morales will likely return to the lineup on Friday in Boston.
Royals’ Wade Davis continues to progress
After throwing a series of live batting practice sessions in Surprise, Ariz., closer Wade Davis was set to throw an inning as part of his rehab from a forearm strain, Yost said on Tuesday
Davis was placed on the disabled list on July 31 — retroactive to July 28 — and is eligible to return when deemed fully healthy.
▪ Left-hander Mike Minor is dealing with shoulder inflammation after experiencing a setback in his latest rehab start. Minor is not expected to pitch for the Royals at the major-league level this season.
▪ Left-hander Jason Vargas allowed three earned runs in three innings against Nashville while making a rehab start Class AAA Omaha on Monday night. Vargas, who is returning from Tommy John surgery, threw 67 pitches and finished with two strikeouts and one walk. He still appears on track to join the Royals’ big-league club in September.