Splitting Splits

A few fun early season statistics using Baseball Reference’s amazing new “Split Finder.” The Kansas City Royals’ No. 3 through No. 6 hitters have six homers all year … by far the lowest total in baseball. The Royals, even in the midst of a three-game losing streak, are off to a very nice start, and they have Kansas City baseball fans buzzing for the first time in a decade. But there are a couple of disturbing trends, and this is one of them. The middle of the lineup -- which has mostly been Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas -- have just those six homers all year. Throw in Jeff Francoeur, who has been abysmal in the No. 7 spot since the beginning of 2012, and you can see that at the moment it’s just too hard for the Royals to score runs. I suspect that at some point manager Ned Yost will shake up the lineup*, perhaps moving leadoff hitter Alex Gordon into the meat of the lineup (he leads the team with five homers) and Cain up to the top. But this isn’t something that can get fixed with a lineup change. Butler, Hosmer and Moustakas -- especially Hosmer, who has not hit a homer yet this season -- will have to hit with more power if the Royals are to contend over a long season.

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