KANSAS CITY -- The streak may soon be coming to an end.A day after Royals manager Ned Yost brushed aside questions about when infielder Raul Mondesi, presumably a big part of the team's future, may start at shortstop instead of Alcides Escobar, Yost said on Tuesday he now plans to
KANSAS CITY -- The streak may soon be coming to an end.
A day after Royals manager Ned Yost brushed aside questions about when infielder Raul Mondesi, presumably a big part of the team's future, may start at shortstop instead of Alcides Escobar, Yost said on Tuesday he now plans to play Mondesi some at shortstop.
Yost said he wanted to discuss the issue with Escobar first before announcing anything to the media.
"It'll probably be one time a week or two times a week, but we are going to play [Mondesi] some at short," Yost said. "And probably on those days, we're going to be moving Esky around, too. When I was in Milwaukee, Esky played center field. He can play third. He was probably one of the best athletes we had in the organization. Still extremely athletic."
One issue at stake was Escobar's streak -- he started for the 406th straight time on Tuesday, a club record and the longest active streak in the Majors.
"We talked about the streak last night a little bit," Yost said. "There will be times when he'll sit."
"He was excited about the opportunity," Yost said. "He's at a point in his career now where it will increase his value if he can play multiple positions, especially center field, third base, second base and shortstop as he can. So he was excited about that, something a little different. He understands exactly where we are with Mondesi. He was very, very, very good about the whole thing."
The Royals have little to lose by exploring new lineups and new positions for players. They entered Tuesday with a 22-50 record. And Escobar, hitting .206, was mired in a 3-for-45 slump.
"It's a good chance to experiment right now," Yost said. "There's nothing that's going to make or break us. You can start looking at things a little bit differently, and start experimenting with some things, and seeing how they look."
Who will close?
Yost also said he will try several candidates to replace closer Kelvin Herrera, who was traded to the Nationals on Monday.
The options includes Wily Peralta, Brandon Maurer, Justin Grimm and Kevin McCarthy.
"Maurer has done it before," Yost said. "Peralta and Grimm have the stuff, and McCarthy has been reliable. We'll just see who takes the job."
To fill the open spot on the 25-man roster, the Royals called up right-hander Heath Fillmyer from Triple-A Omaha. Fillmyer was acquired in the offseason from the A's in the Brandon Moss trade.
Fillmyer, 24, was 4-5 with a 5.75 ERA in 13 starts for Omaha. Yost said he will pitch out of the bullpen here.
"It's a great feeling," Fillmyer said of getting called up to the Major Leagues. "You've been waiting for the kind of news like that your whole life. You've been working your whole life for it, and I'm just grateful for it. It's awesome to be here."
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.