Reliever Mariot playing left field wasn't plan
BALTIMORE -- OK, maybe the Royals wouldn't have had relief pitcher Michael Mariot playing left field on Saturday night after all.
That possibility was mentioned by manager Ned Yost after it appeared that shortstop Alcides Escobar might have to leave the game with an injury in the 10th inning. The bench was depleted.
However, designated hitter Billy Butler was seen slipping on his glove while Escobar was sprawled on the dirt, his leg hurting. He remained in the game, but what if he hadn't?
"We could've put Billy in the game, we could've done a lot of things," Yost said.
The most likely scenario that would have evolved, Yost decided, was using Butler at first base (and giving up the DH) with Alex Gordon moving from left field to third base, Mike Moustakas moving from third base to second, Omar Infante moving from second base to short and Eric Hosmer going from first base to left field.
Mariot would have stayed in the bullpen. The Royals lost, 3-2, on Nick Markakis' walk-off single in the 10th.
The talk about Butler at first base brought up the annual Interleague topic -- how would that position be handled when the Royals play at San Diego under National League rules on May 5-6-7? Butler or Hosmer at first?
"I haven't gotten that deep into it yet. We'll see," Yost said. "A lot of times if Billy's really hitting the ball good, you give him a start against lefties. If he's not swinging good, you use him off the bench as a pinch-hitter. But you've got to get there before you make a determination."
In the past, Hosmer has taken a turn in the outfield in Interleague Play, but that's not likely to happen at San Diego
"I'm not definitely saying no, but I doubt it," Yost said.