Dyson getting chance to showcase talents
Speedy outfielder seeing increased time with Francoeur slumping
KANSAS CITY -- Due to Jeff Francoeur's recent struggles at the plate, Jarrod Dyson is getting an opportunity to play, and the speedy outfielder is certainly making the most of it.
Royals manager Ned Yost sat Francoeur in five of the team's last six games, and Dyson capitalized, hitting .588 (10-for-17) in that span with two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and four runs scored. The Royals went 3-2 in those games.
Texas right-hander Scott Feldman got the start against the Royals on Saturday, and Dyson, a left-handed hitter, was back in the lineup playing center field and batting ninth. He was 2-for-3 with a stolen base.
"It's always a good opportunity to get in the lineup," Dyson said. "This is a good opportunity to step up for the team and to help the team win. I'm going to continue to do everything that I can to help the team out.
"You could kind of say I'm locked in right now. I'm just trying to square the ball up. I've been getting good results lately, and I'm going to try to keep that up."
Yost has been pleased with Dyson's performance, and added he's convinced that Francoeur will turn things around.
"[Dyson's] been a real catalyst at the bottom of our order, him and [Chris] Getz have been swinging the bat really well," Yost said. "I've got all the confidence in the world that Jeff Francoeur is going to work his way out his slump and be the player that he's always been. But we're just taking opportunities now, going with the hot hand in Dyson. We've got lefties coming up after that, and Frenchy will be in three of the next four days at least, if not four of the next four."
Dyson has shown his great speed, too, stealing four bases in the five games he started. He has 21 steals on the season -- he ranked sixth in the American League entering play Saturday -- but admitted he's not very happy with that aspect of his game.
"I feel like I should have more bags than I've got right now. I'm not really satisfied with where I'm at, because I know that I can steal a lot of bases," Dyson said. "Twenty, I should be sitting higher than that with 230 ABs. I feel like I've been getting on base a lot, but other teams have quickened up on us and tried to shut down our running game. So we have to pick our spots."
Esky continues to amaze with stellar defense
KANSAS CITY -- Alcides Escobar is downright scary.
The Royals' shortstop flashed the leather yet again in Friday's 5-3 loss to the Rangers. In the top of the third, Escobar made a stab at Elvis Andrus' one-hopper into the hole, then made a jump throw without stopping for the out at first base. It was a scary good play.
But Escobar also put a scare into his own team later in the game, when he tried to make another stellar play on a ground ball hit by Michael Young in the seventh inning. Instead, this time, his right plant foot slipped in the grass right behind the infield and Escobar didn't even attempt a throw. Assistant athletic trainer Kyle Turner and manager Ned Yost came out to check on Escobar, who was pointing to his calf.
Escobar remained in the game, though, and drove in a run with a base hit in the bottom half of the inning. After the game, Escobar and Yost both said the shortstop's leg was fine.
"When my foot slid on the grass, I felt my calf pull, but after that everything was good," Escobar said.
Escobar was in the starting lineup for Saturday's game, batting second.
Royals prospect Matt Fields, a first baseman with the Class A Wilmington Blue Rocks, was named Topps Player of the Month in the Carolina League. In July, Fields hit .355 with 13 home runs and 19 RBIs.
Left-hander Donnie Joseph, one of the Minor League pitchers acquired in the recent trade that sent Jonathan Broxton to Cincinnati, made his debut with Triple-A Omaha on Friday night. Joseph allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in the ninth inning, as the Storm Chasers fell, 5-3, to Reno.
Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.