The Royals made only one roster switch from the American League Championship Series roster for the World Series.
Manager Ned Yost explained the decision to add infielder Jayson Nix and drop second baseman Christian Colon from the 25-man roster Tuesday before game one against the Giants at Kauffman Stadium.
“We’re more apt to probably double-switch in some spots and, quite frankly, like Nix’s defense a little better at third,” Yost said.
Yost said Nix and Christian Colon are solid second basemen and shortstops, but “we just feel a little more comfortable with Nix at third,” Yost said.
Colon, the Royals’ 2010 first-round pick, drove in the tying run and scored the game-winning run in the 12th inning of the AL Wild Card Game.
He also appeared in game two of the ALCS, playing the final half-inning at second base.
Yost said Colon is healthy, but he considers Colon more of an offensive option.
“Breaking it down and looking at all our scenarios, especially in the National League, we decided to go with the defensive option,” Yost said.
That means Nix.
Yost also revealed that Jeremy Guthrie will start game three and Jason Vargas game four when the World Series shifts to San Francisco this weekend.
Yost indicated that he’s managed differently in the postseason, saying really it started with 2 1/2 weeks left in the regular season.
“During the season, you have to worry about tomorrow and the next day and the next day, because it’s a grind,” he said. “Here, you’re just focused on today, and doing whatever it takes to win this ballgame today.”
Before Tuesday, the Royals hadn’t played in six days after sweeping the Orioles in the ALCS, becoming the first major-league team to open a postseason with eight consecutive wins.
Finally, the finish line is in sight.
“We’re at the last rung of the ladder,” Yost said. “Now, your focus is to go out and find a way to win four games against the best team in the National League.”
San Francisco has reached the World Series three times in the last five seasons, winning championships in 2010 and 2012.
The Giants didn’t make any roster changes from the NLCS, and the biggest adjustment for manager Bruce Bochy will be picking a designated hitter for the games in Kansas City.
Michael Morse got the nod for game one against the Royals, who haven’t played in a World Series since 1985 — before 13 of the team’s players on the 25-man roster were born.
Despite the edge in experience, Bochy said the Giants’ challenge remains the same.
“When you’re teaching something, you use the old adage repeat, repeat and repeat again, so I don’t think you ever stop talking to your players, coaches, myself or player to player,” he said. “That never stops.
“Plus, you have some young guys that have joined your club that weren’t here in 2012. With that said, they have been through it and they know what it takes, so that is invaluable, that experience.”
Royals’ World Series roster
Pitchers (11): LHP Tim Collins, RHP Wade Davis, LHP Danny Duffy, LHP Brandon Finnegan, RHP Jason Frasor, RHP Jeremy Guthrie, RHP Kelvin Herrera, RHP Greg Holland, RHP James Shields, LHP Jason Vargas, RHP Yordano Ventura
Catchers (2): Erik Kratz, Salvador Perez
Infielders (6): 1B/DH Billy Butler, SS Alcides Escobar, 1B Eric Hosmer, 2B Omar Infante, 3B Mike Moustakas, UTL Jayson Nix
Outfielders (6): RF Nori Aoki, CF/RF Lorenzo Cain, CF Jarrod Dyson, LF Alex Gordon, OF Terrance Gore, OF Josh Willingham
Giants’ World Series roster
Pitchers (12): LHP Jeremy Affeldt, LHP Madison Bumgarner, RHP Santiago Casilla, RHP Tim Hudson, RHP Tim Lincecum, LHP Javier Lopez, RHP Jean Machi, RHP Jake Peavy, RHP Yusmeiro Petit, RHP Sergio Romo, RHP Hunter Strickland, RHP Ryan Vogelsong
Catchers (2): Buster Posey, Andrew Susac
Infielders (6): INF Joaquin Arias, 1B Brandon Belt, SS Brandon Crawford, INF Matt Duffy, 2B Joe Panik, 3B Pablo Sandoval
Outfielders (5): CF Gregor Blanco, LF Travis Ishikawa, DH/OF Michael Morse, RF Hunter Pence, OF Juan Perez