Increased playing time in recent games for Jarrod Dyson and Elliot Johnson stems primarily, Royals manager Ned Yost said, from a desire to ride a player’s hot streak.
Yost dismissed the suggestion that he’s instituted a platoon arrangement in the outfield or at second base.
“I could play (Jeff) Francoeur (on Friday) against a right-hander,” he said. “Then it’s not a platoon. I’m going day-to-day right now. Dyson is swinging the bat well, so he’s playing more.”
Dyson’s status for the three-game series against the A’s, which begins Friday night at the Oakland Coliseum, hinges on the condition of a sprained right ankle suffered in Wednesday’s 9-5 victory over the Angels.
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The injury occurred as Dyson scaled the center-field wall in pursuit of a Mike Trout homer in the eighth inning. He limped from the field and will be evaluated further prior to Friday’s game.
Dyson started five of the previous eight games and, in addition to the speed he adds to the lineup, has provided as many extra-base hits in 42 plate appearances — eight — as Francoeur has in 128.
“Everyone wants to jump on the Frenchy bandwagon,” Yost said. “They want to say, ‘OK, he’s platooning.’ I’m not going there. Dyson is swinging the bat well right now, so he’s going to get more playing time.
“It’s like second base right now. Elliot Johnson has played the majority of time in the last week. Is he the everyday second baseman? No. I’m trying to ride a hot player. I go from day-to-day.”
The Royals view Johnson as their primary utility player, but he started eight of the last 14 games — largely because second baseman Chris Getz is mired in a four-for-47 slump and batting .193.
Johnson’s response to the increased opportunity is 11 hits in his last 25 at-bats, which has his average up to .302.
“We’re riding Elliot because he’s swinging the bat well now,” Yost said. “Getzie is scuffling a little bit, but that all changes (at some point). When Getzie gets hot, we’ll ride him.”