KANSAS CITY -- Royals rookie Jorge Bonifacio was in the lineup again on Tuesday night, meaning he has started 12 straight games, eight of those in right field, including the last six in a row there.While it seems clear that Bonifacio has moved ahead of Jorge Soler on the depth
KANSAS CITY -- Royals rookie Jorge Bonifacio was in the lineup again on Tuesday night, meaning he has started 12 straight games, eight of those in right field, including the last six in a row there.
While it seems clear that Bonifacio has moved ahead of Jorge Soler on the depth chart in right field for now, manager Ned Yost isn't going to make any such proclamation. Instead, Yost engaged in a playful cat-and-mouse game with the subject on Tuesday.
Is Bonifacio your new starting right fielder?
"He's playing there today."
So, he's your new right fielder?
But he has been playing there for a week.
"OK, he has been for a week."
He's your new starting right fielder.
"No. He's been playing out there a lot. But I'm not going to label him my starting right fielder."
"Because it's dumb. If I don't play him tomorrow, you'll come in and say, 'You said he was your starting right fielder.' I've been through this before." (Laughter).
But you have a starting left fielder?
A starting shortstop?
A starting center fielder?
So, why not a starting right fielder?
"[Alex Gordon and those others] are established players. Boni has been here like six weeks."
Why is this so hard?
"It's not hard. Who cares? It's insignificant. Why does he have to have the title of starting right fielder?"
Because Soler was part of a major trade and isn't a starter right now.
"He's going to be. And he's going to be for a long time. The kid has what, 670 [Major League] at-bats under him? (737). Soler is going to be a good player. He just needs to develop some."
So the challenge right now for you, as Bonifacio stays hot, is to somehow find at-bats for Soler to continue his development?
"That's an accurate statement."
Fair enough. Thank you.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.