Last year Ned Yost made a move so bold and unexpected that it was universally applauded. He inserted one of his best hitters, Alex Gordon, into the leadoff spot. And it was beautiful. Yost generally manages how you'd expect a 1980's catcher to manage, so as you can imagine, this outside the box creativity was at odds with his conventional nature.
Last night, for some bizarre reason, Yost decided to move Gordon into the third spot for the remainder of the year (unless he slumps, then of course he'll be dropped to sixth). Well we know the reason:
“We knew Gordy wasn’t a prototypical leadoff hitter, but he’s a guy who has high on-base (percentage) and puts the ball in play,” Yost said. “But we also think he’s going to be a run-producer. He doesn’t really get the opportunity to produce runs from the one hole.”
By run-producer Yost means RBIs, obviously. It's unfortunately apparent that he's unaware of the role on-base percentage plays in producing runs. Spoiler alert, it's important. My biggest gripe with the move is that to fill one hole he created another. Jarrod Dyson (.330 OBP), Chris Getz (.317) and Lorenzo Cain (.312) will take turns making outs at the top of the lineup. The Royals broadcast crew can name drop Kenny Lofton all they want but that's not going to make Dyson a better hitter. And Getz? Really? I'm glad Yost is comfortable with him batting leadoff but I think it's absurd to even entertain the notion.
The idea that the best hitters should get the most at bats isn't revolutionary or witchcraft, it's common sense, and it's absolutely amazing that a man that has spent decades in pro ball can't grasp such a simple premise.