SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The successful spring from outfielder Reymond Fuentes has put him right in the mix, not only for a roster spot, but also for a starting job as well, manager Ned Yost said Friday before the Royals' 8-5 loss to the Giants.With Jarrod Dyson healing from a strained
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The successful spring from outfielder Reymond Fuentes has put him right in the mix, not only for a roster spot, but also for a starting job as well, manager Ned Yost said Friday before the Royals' 8-5 loss to the Giants.
With Jarrod Dyson healing from a strained oblique and not likely back until mid-April, the right-field job has turned into a race between Paulo Orlando and Fuentes, a former first-round pick of the Red Sox who never has made an Opening Day roster.
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At one point this spring, right field appeared to be locked up by Orlando, who had a .444 slugging percentage as a rookie in 2015. But Fuentes has hit .444 this spring with three homers, and he has wedged his way into the competition.
"They're still battling, [Orlando] and Fuentes," Yost said. "Fuentes has been hot. We know what we have with Paulo."
Yost isn't saying who will be his starter come April 3 at Kauffman Stadium against the Mets.
"We go day to day," Yost said. "We'll look at matchups. The idea is to ride the hot hand. That's the way it has always been.
"But I mean, it's spring. Fuentes is hitting .440. Paulo is hitting .220. But it's spring. But you get back to ... Paulo does something every day to help you win. I'm not ready to commit to anything."
Orlando, 30, burst onto the scene last spring and made the club as the 25th man. Yost has had an entire season to evaluate Orlando, but only a few weeks to do the same for Fuentes.
"That's an advantage for Paulo," Yost said. "I know his game. I know the value he brings. But we'll see."
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.