Spring training is a time for baseball fans to be optimistic about their team. Sometimes the optimism can be misplaced, but Royals’ fans have legitimate reasons to be excited about the team. I don’t think any reasonable Royals fan believes
Before discussing the Royals’ best options at first base, I want to emphatically state that Ross Gload should not be the Royals first baseman in 2008. Ross Gload should not even be in the discussion about who will start at first base for the Royals in 2008. By all accounts Gload is a nice guy, good teammate, and popular with the fans. He has been a decent player throughout his career but he has never established himself as anything more than a solid bench player. Ross Gload can be a valuable player to the Royals as their backup first baseman and late inning defensive replacement. But Gload should not be taking away at bats from younger players that have a chance to be a part of a contending team. If Ross Gload gets 400 at bats this season it will mean that Hillman and Moore are more interested in winning a few more games in 2008 and not going all out to build a contending team.
The best choice for the Royals would be to play Billy Butler at first base until he either learns the position or proves he will never be able to master it. Butler is going to be a huge run producer at the plate and one of the priorities for the Royals should be finding a position for him. Maybe
Ryan Shealy is another option at first base. The Royals should not give up on Shealy and he should be given a chance in 2008. If
Mark Teahen could move to first base to free up an outfield spot for Joey Gathright. The Joey Gathright situation is a topic for another entry but if Gathright continues his torrid spring Teahen moving to first base could be an option. Another option relating to Gathright would be to move Teahen to third base and Alex Gordon first base. Interesting things can happen if Gathright makes the team.
Whether it is