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Gordon embraces Royals' leadoff spot

March 29, 2017

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As the Royals prepped to bug out of Arizona on Wednesday, manager Ned Yost revealed what likely will be his Opening Day lineup and batting order.Alex Gordon, who has hit leadoff most of the spring, was there again against the Rangers.1. Gordon

  1. Mike Moustakas
  2. Lorenzo

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As the Royals prepped to bug out of Arizona on Wednesday, manager Ned Yost revealed what likely will be his Opening Day lineup and batting order.
Alex Gordon, who has hit leadoff most of the spring, was there again against the Rangers.
1. Gordon

  1. Mike Moustakas
  2. Lorenzo Cain
  3. Eric Hosmer
  4. Salvador Perez
  5. Brandon Moss
  6. Paulo Orlando
  7. Alcides Escobar
  8. Raul Mondesi

"I'm excited about it," Gordon said. "Ned came to me early in spring and said he'd like to try it out. I'm cool with it. I'm happy with my approach and my swing.
"I'm not a typical leadoff hitter, but I feel like I can get the job done."
But Gordon has vast experience hitting leadoff -- he has started 316 games there over his career, the most of any spot in the lineup.
And aside from a handful of starts hitting second, leadoff has been Gordon's most productive spot. He has an .801 OPS there.
"I like the chance to get things started for Cain and Hosmer and get a rally going," Gordon said. "It's fun."
Gordon also has split time between left field and right field this spring. He even logged some games in center.
"It was kind of a surprise," Gordon said. "I've been in left for the last five or six years, but it was nice to see balls from different angles. Got a lot of repetitions in at the other spots.
"Center field is a lot of fun, but we all know it's Cain's job."
Gordon had pestered outfield coach Rusty Kuntz for years about playing some center. Getting that chance this spring put a smile on his face.
"Maybe it's because I was a big Ken Griffey Jr. fan," Gordon said.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.