4/5/2013 3:22 P.M. ET
Francoeur, Gordon leaders of young clubhouse
By Mike Radano / Special to MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- With a relatively young team, Royals manager Ned Yost has the benefit of veteran players like Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon to fall back on in his clubhouse.
It doesn't seem that long ago that Francoeur and Gordon were up-and-coming stars of the future. Now in their seventh major league seasons, both have had up and downs and both are now veterans that young players can learn from at the Major League level.
"All players find a comfort level," Yost said. "Especially young talented players like they were. They have to go through ups and downs. It makes you a better player if you can battle through it. You learn a lot from adversity.
"I've seen two players come up and never have major adversity. That's Ryan Braun and Chipper Jones. Every good young player has struggled over the course of their career early. They figured it out and went on to be successful."
Butler the odd man out for opener vs. Phils
PHILADELPHIA -- When manager Ned Yost sat down to make out his lineup for Friday afternoon's game at Citizens Bank Park, he knew that his toughest decisions had to do with first base, right field and designated hitter. Without a DH in the National League Park, he had to fit three players into two spots.
In other words, of the threesome that included Billy Butler, Jeff Francoeur and Eric Hosmer, one would have to sit. On this day, it fell to Butler to start the day on the bench.
"We have three guys going for two spots," Yost said. "Francoeur had good numbers off of [Phillies starter Kyle] Kendrick. It's just one of those deals in that we wanted Francoeur to play. We have a right on right then a left on right today. Billy will play first tomorrow."
In 22 at-bats vs. Kendrick entering Friday's game, Francoeur had nine hits for a .409 average with a home run and three RBIs. Francoeur, who is the only Royals hitter with significant numbers against Kendrick from his time in Atlanta, added a single in his first at-bat.
"It's different when an American League club comes to a National League city," Yost said. "One of your players just has to sit. These are guys who are used to playing every day and we'll just have to juggle it."
Yost preparing for steady dose of Interleague Play
PHILADELPHIA -- With the Astros' move to the American League giving each league 15 teams, Interleague Play will be a season-long occurrence. It's something Royals manager Ned Yost understands, but also something that will create some interesting situations over the course of the season.
Simply put, AL teams are built differently due to the designated hitter, and the difference is magnified in National League parks when teams such as the Royals have to sit one of their regulars.
"We play Interleague the second series of the year," Yost said. "We go home for two series and then another Interleague one. Then another one in a month. Another one a month from that. It's a little more drawn out, and it is what it is, so you play them."
Included in the Royals' NL foes in the coming months are the Braves and Cardinals.
• Yost was feeling positive about the Royals' 1-2 start, saying, "I'm feeling really, really good. You don't judge over a three-game period. You take it month by month. Our pitching was outstanding, our defense was pretty good. We just didn't hit. I know that we have a dynamic offensive team. We're going to hit."
Mike Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.