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Royals Outfield: Depth Chart Discussion

Starter Alex Gordon Lorenzo Cain Jeff Francoeur
Backups Lorenzo Cain Jarrod Dyson Lorenzo Cain
David Lough David Lough David Lough

Left FieldAlex Gordon will be the everyday left fielder. He started 151 in LF in 2011 and 161 in 2012. Nothing will change in 2013. For the days he gets rest, expect Cain to move over to LF and Dyson to man CF.

Center Field – A little more possible drama happening in center field than in right field. Lorenzo Cain is slated to be the starting center fielder. If healthy, he will get the majority of the starts.

The problem is that he has not been healthy much over the past two seasons. If/when he gets hurt,speedster Jarrod Dyson will get the starts at center field. Dyson will not have the same power as Cain, but could will be a huge source of stolen bases.

One center field issue is the replacements for the corner positions will come from center field. If Gordon or Francoeur go down, Cain will be their likely replacement. Dyson will then get starts in CF. Basically, Dyson will be the big playing time gainer if any of the other 3 outfielders go down with injury.

Right Field – Before the beginning of the off season, this position battle looked to be pretty heated with the vet Jeff Francoeur vs. the highly touted rookie, Wil Myers. The Royals solved the problem by trading Myers to Tampa Bay. Frenchy now gets one more shot to see if he can bring back the magic of 2011. Even if he struggles like he did in 2012, the Royals will probably be forced to put him out in the field everyday and hope he turns it around.

His primary backup will be Cain. Like with LF, Cain will move to RF and Dyson will take over in center.

Other backups

The Royals brought in three veterans to help with the outfield depth, Willy Taveras, Xavier Nady and Endy Chavez. I really don’t see any of them making the team. For one of the trio to have a chance to get a call later in the season, they would need to accept assignment to AAA. I just don’t see them accepting assignment.

The most likely Royals outfield replacement option is David Lough. Lough is currently trying to get the team’s attention by hitting .520/.538/.720 so far in spring training. He can play decent enough defense in the corners and if needed, he could be forced into duty in center field.