Getz gone, but Yost stops short of giving 2B job to Johnson
Yost vague on how he'll divvy up time at second, though Elliot Johnson will get more than Miggy
By JEFFREY FLANAGANFS Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Well, at least one of the major gripes from
Royals fans has been settled.
Second baseman Chris Getz was shipped out to Triple-A Omaha on Saturday, clearing room for the return of outfielder Jarrod Dyson.
Getz, who along with Jeff Francoeur had become a Twitter punching bag this season, was somewhat of a logical choice to be sent out because he still had minor league options.
There also seemed to be logic in keeping Francoeur, rather than releasing him, because the Royals are short on right-handed bats, especially now that Dyson and David Lough, both left-handed hitters, are on the team.
Manager Ned Yost confirmed as much Saturday morning.
But what Yost won't confirm is that Elliot Johnson has "won" the second base job now that Getz is in Omaha.
Yost would allow only that both Johnson and 39-year-old Miguel Tejada would see time at second.
When I asked Yost why he wouldn't commit to Johnson at second, Yost said abruptly, "Because I don't want to."
Yes, it does seem odd that the Royals won't admit that Johnson is their best alternative at second base now that Getz has been demoted, and with Johnny Giavotella and Christian Colon both being unable to force general manager Dayton Moore's hand toward a promotion.
Tejada is a nice addition to this team, but he has played only eight games in his over 2,000-game career at second base, and half of those eight are here.
It would seem impractical for Johnson, a switch-hitter with excellent speed and a strong arm, not to be the everyday second baseman.
Johnson, hitting a modest .248 with two homers and nine RBIs in part-time duty, said before Saturday's game -- which he didn't start -- he hasn't been told anything about his role.
"I'm not playing today, that much I know," Johnson said. "We'll probably see more of Miggy (Tejada) there.
"I don't know. You'll have to ask Ned. I would assume it will be business as normal. No one has said anything to me."
Business as normal had been a daily guessing game for Getz and Johnson. They knew only who was starting when they got to the ballpark each day and viewed the posted lineup.
That apparently will continue.
"We don't set anything in stone," Yost said. "We set our lineup and whoever is playing that day is playing that day.
"(Johnson's) going to play the majority of the time there but if I say something in stone that Eilliot is going to play second, the first day I put Tejada in there they'll want to know why Elliot isn't playing. I don't do that. I go day to day with it."
Just when Johnson will start is anyone's guess. Johnson went 7 for 16 with a homer during the recent four-game series in Tampa. Then he didn't start the first two games of the following series in Cleveland.
Johnson, though, isn't about to complain publicly. And he vows not to try to play beyond his means.
"I'm not going to go out there trying to do anything spectacular, hit .300 or whatever," he said. "I'm out there to make the routine plays and get the job done. That will keep Ned happy, keep the pitchers happy, keep everyone happy, and keep me happy."
Yost insists he will keep the second base job fluid.
"Is Elliot going to play the majority of the time there? Yeah," he said. "But to come out and say he's going to play every day doesn't make any sense to me."
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.