Royals manager Ned Yost said Thursday that Kendrys Morales would be on the bench for the World Series road games against the Mets in which pitchers will hit under National League rules.
That turns the switch-hitting Morales into a sub instead of a designated hitter batting fifth in the Royals’ lineup behind Eric Hosmer and ahead of Mike Moustakas. Morales is 12 for 48 in the postseason but is 3 for his last 19 since a three-hit night in Game 3 of the ALCS at Toronto. He did homer that night and has four on the playoffs, however.
“We lose a great hitter, he’s got a lot of pop,” Royals second baseman Ben Zobrist said, adding that Morales “certainly has a chance to change a game” if he gets used in a key pinch-hitting spot.
The Royals were the first team to use same lineup in terms of batting order and defensive alignment in the first 13 games of a postseason but will have to insert pitcher Yordano Ventura into the batting order for Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night. Ventura has 11 career plate appearances, none in the postseason. He’s 1 for 10 with eight strikeouts and a sacrifice.