Mired in an alarming, early-season slump, Royals designated hitter Billy Butler is moving out of the cleanup spot.
Manager Ned Yost confirmed the impending switch during an interview with KCSP (610 AM) on Thursday morning. The most likely result means Butler will drop to No. 6 and swap places with catcher Salvador Perez.
Yost dislikes fiddling with his lineup. But he conceded the move could help reduce the strain on Butler, who is batting .149 during the Royals’ 6-7 start and has yet to provide an extra-base hit in 47 at-bats. His on-base plus slugging percentage is .371.
Butler has shown an inability to hit line drives this season. The coaching staff counseled him to adjust his setup at the plate, so pitchers would have more trouble jamming him with inside pitches. The results have yet to come.