It’s no secret that the star hitter, Billy Butler, has returned to stardom since taking over first base on defense. While playing first base this year, Butler is hitting .345 with a .380 On Base Percentage, and a .539 Slugging Percentage.
Needless to say, those numbers kind of dominate his number while playing as the Designated Hitter. While at DH, Butler has hit only .261 with a .310 OBP, and a .336 SLG%.
Billy Butler has also played very acceptable defense since Hosmer’s injury. So my next question is; if Hosmer is able to return before the end of the year, should he regain his spot at first base?
Hosmer has experienced no setbacks since breaking his right hand on July 31, yet a return is seeming more and more unlikely as the season advances. Hosmer said he did not plan on getting another x-ray on his hand until returning home from a 10-game road trip.
After getting cleared to begin a rehab assignment, it would take at least a couple weeks until he could appear in a rehab game and face live pitching. By then, minor league seasons will be ending and his rehab assignment becomes a little fuzzy.
In my opinion, management shouldn’t try to change something that is working a midst this winning streak, though. The Royals are playing out of their mind and the re-emergence from Billy Butler has been a huge factor in that happening.
Besides, Butler has said himself that playing defense helps him on the offensive side because he doesn’t have to go back and sit on the bench after a bad at-bat, just thinking about it until his next at-bat.
Josh Willingham, who is batting .333 with a .385 OBP since coming to the Royals, seems qualified and capable enough to handle the Designated Hitter’s role in Billy Butler’s absence.
If I were to guess, I think Royals’ fans have seen the last of Eric Hosmer in 2014.