KANSAS CITY -- For all you lineup watchers, Eric Hosmer is going to continue hitting in the Royals' No. 3 spot for a while, despite his .224 average and nine home runs through Monday. That's the word from manager Ned Yost.
"We've got Hosmer in the three-hole because we're trying to develop him as a three-hole hitter. I believe that's where he's going to be and I don't care right now," Yost said. "I know his production isn't that of a No. 3 hitter, but I believe it will be and I want him comfortable in that spot. It's a lot like [Alcides] Escobar last year. I know he's struggling, but it's a spot that I want him to get used to. Hopefully he's going to get it going, but if he doesn't in the next series or two, I might have to move him out of there."
Escobar struggled in the first half last year but Yost stayed with him in a crucial situations, and he believes that experience helped him develop into the .313 hitter in the No. 2 spot that he is today.
Hosmer is having a difficult second year after a sensational rookie season of .293, 19 homers and 78 RBIs in 128 games. Yost said Hosmer is working with hitting coach Kevin Seitzer in the cage.
"His swing's gotten a little long. It's gotten a little loopy. They're working on shortening it up. When your swing starts to get long, all of a sudden you start to get jumpy, you start swinging at pitches you don't want to swing at because you're not seeing the ball really well," Yost said. "When you're short and quick, you pick up the ball good, you recognize when the pitch is good and you stay back then explode on the ball. It's just getting his mechanics ironed out a little bit. These are all things that, in the long run, are going to be really good for him."
On Monday night against Mariners left-hander Jason Vargas, Yost had Lorenzo Cain in the fifth spot instead of Yuniesky Betancourt, who was just 4-for-31 in his previous seven games.
"We've moved Cain to the five because he's swinging the bat as good as anybody we've got on our club right now, and that's been a pretty big RBI spot," Yost said.