Hillman plans to tinker with lineup
KC manager trying DeJesus as leadoff, Callaspo third
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Don't fill out the Royals' lineup on your Opening Day scorecard just yet. Manager Trey Hillman is still fiddling with it.Just when you thought that it'd be maybe Scott Podsednik, Alberto Callaspo (or Jason Kendall) and David DeJesus in the 1-2-3 spots ahead of Billy Butler, think again. "I'm going to start tinkering with that a little bit," Hillman said. In coming Cactus League games, he plans to try it this way: DeJesus, Podsednik and Callaspo, in that order, ahead of Butler. "I'm going to look at Dave one and Pod two," Hillman said. "Neither one of those guys care. "I like Callaspo in a position to drive in runs. I don't like waiting until the sixth or the seventh slot to get his bat back up there because of the slug, the on-base percentage, the batting average -- the whole package. So I'm going to look at him [at No.] 3." Last year, Callaspo most often batted fifth, sixth and seventh and had the biggest offensive year of his career. DeJesus has a long history as the Royals' leadoff man, and he's been effective in 607 games in that spot with a .297 average and .367 on-base percentage. "I think Pod is more of a prototypical leadoff guy because of his stolen-base totals," Hillman said. "But you can't argue with what history has told us about what David's numbers are in leadoff and what his numbers aren't in the No. 2 slot, although it's a much smaller sample." Podsednik, in 637 games as leadoff batter, has 237 stolen bases, compared to DeJesus' mere 39 in almost as many games. And Podsednik's No. 2 average/on-base figures are .296/.344 in 78 games, compared to DeJesus' .245/.319 in 88 games.
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And still ahead were 12 games in which Hillman could experiment.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.