Is it possible? Will the Royals actually reconsider their cockamamie outfield plan?
The Royals starting outfield appears set with Alex Gordon in left, Melky Cabrera in center and Jeff Francoeur in center. That is subject to change, however, especially if Cain continues to impress in spring training.
At least the guy Cain has to impress seems to be paying attention ...
"Cain really showed that athleticism," Royals manager Ned Yost said of his catch against the Padres. "He's a tremendous defender in center field. He's a very heads up player. He plays the game very hard. He works hard on his base running. He makes aggressive turns. In the outfield, he's always moving, always thinking, always playing with his instincts, which is going to make him the player he's going to be. It's going to be a very, very, very special player when it's all said and done."
Am I missing something here? In 47 games with the Brewers last summer, Cain batted .306/.348/.415 and his brilliant defensive statistics are matched by his reputation. Are we being given the runaround? Has the plan been all along -- as it obviously should have been -- to hand center field to Cain and (sort of) platoon Melky and Frenchy in right field, which at this point would be the least damaging eventuality?
Let's just say I'm waiting to be impressed. But the Royals need a center fielder for Project 2012 (or '13) and Cain's the only candidate I'm seeing in the entire organization. Why not see what he can do now?