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Royals formulating a three-man outfield plan

Royals formulating a three-man outfield plan

KANSAS CITY -- Now that the Royals' center and right field mix includes Lorenzo Cain, Jarrod Dyson and Justin Maxwell, the nature of the blend is uncertain.

Regular right fielder Nori Aoki, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, is out for at least another two weeks with a groin injury and manager Ned Yost is pondering how he'll operate in those two spots.

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Alex Gordon is the everyday left fielder and Lorenzo Cain has been a regular, mostly in center and sometimes in right, although he usually gets one or two days off a week. The question is how Yost will utilize Dyson, a left-handed hitter, and Maxwell, a right-handed hitter.

"I don't know yet. I haven't figured it out. We'll definitely go with the hot hand," Yost said. "If Maxwell gets hot, we'll probably go with Maxie. If Dice gets hot, we'll probably go more with Dice.

"They're different players. Maxie's got more home-run power, Dice has got more speed. If he can take his walks and find ways to get on base, he's a real threat."

When Dyson plays, he'll be in center field. When Maxwell plays, he'll be in right field. Cain can fill either spot.

With left-hander Roenis Elias starting for the Mariners on Sunday, Maxwell was in right field, Dyson was on the bench and Cain was in center -- and leading off for the first time this season. Why was that?

"The correct numbers. He's got a .417 on-base the past couple of weeks. That's all I need to know," Yost said.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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