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02/19/12 7:00 PM EST

Yost speculating early on top of lineup

Giavotella could bat No. 2; manager likes Gordon at leadoff

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- It's very early, but Royals manager Ned Yost did some musing about the top of his lineup on Sunday, confirming that second baseman Johnny Giavotella is his first choice to bat in the second slot.

"He fits the spot because he has the ability to take pitches, he drives the ball the other way and he's a guy that can hit," Yost said. "This kid has hit everywhere. And if it works out, he's the best candidate for it."

Giavotella first has to win the second-base job over Chris Getz. Melky Cabrera, traded to San Francisco, was the Royals' No. 2 batter last season.

Yost still sees left fielder Alex Gordon as the likely leadoff batter, a spot he filled 89 times last season.

"We'll see what develops," Yost said. "I like Gordy leading off. I like somebody with some pop in his bat coming up when the lineup comes back around. He was our best on-base guy last year, and he can do a lot of things -- drive the ball out of the park, drive the gaps, .300 hitter, takes his walks, works the pitcher. He does everything you want a leadoff guy to do."

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