Detroit — When Ned Yost fills out a lineup card, he doesn’t worry too much about how long a player has been in the major leagues.
“I think if you’re a big-leaguer, you’re a big-leaguer, and I don’t try to protect guys in the big leagues,” the Kansas City manager said Sunday. “I throw them right into the fire and let them go. They’re big-league players. They’ve earned their way here.”
The Royals have developed one of baseball’s top farm systems, and they’re trying to figure out the best way to break in some of their young players. Rookie first baseman Eric Hosmer has mostly hit sixth for Kansas City, but he was slated to bat fifth Sunday before the team’s game against the Detroit Tigers was rained out.
“It’s not like, ‘OK, you’ve earned your way here, now I’ve got to protect you while you’re here,”’ Yost said. “I don’t do that. I don’t do it for relievers, and I don’t do it for position players.”
Detroit manager Jim Leyland took a similar approach Sunday, when he penciled Andy Dirks in to play left field. The 25-year-old was called up after Magglio Ordonez went on the disabled list Friday. He was slated to bat second — in front of the powerful trio of Brennan Boesch, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez — for what would have been his major league debut.
“Put him out there and let him play,” Leyland said.
The teams have a makeup game scheduled for Sept. 1 at 12:05 p.m. That was supposed to be an off day for both teams after playing three games against each other Aug. 29-31 in Detroit.