Despite Zobrist trade, Yost happy with Infante at 2B

Despite Zobrist trade, Yost happy with Infante at 2B

CLEVELAND -- When newcomer Ben Zobrist joins the Royals in Toronto on Thursday, he is slated to take over in left field for now, filling in for the injured Alex Gordon.

But if Gordon comes back in early September, there has been an assumption by some fans that Zobrist would then replace Omar Infante at second base.

Nope. Not going to happen.

Royals manager Ned Yost is perfectly satisfied with Infante's overall game, especially his defense. And by now, fans should know how much Yost values defense.

"The current lineup we have now has been very productive in terms of victories," Yost said. "Is Omar's offensive production down? Yes. Is his defensive production up? Absolutely yes."

Infante's incredible flip play with shortstop Alcides Escobar in the ninth inning Tuesday night is another example of what kind of defense Infante provides.

Must C: Royals make slick play

"He's healthy this year," Yost said. "He never got 100 percent healthy last year. He had back issues, leg issues, shoulder issues. His body is alive right now. He's moving great, running great. He's mixing in big hits.

"You know you don't have to have nine guys hitting .300. You need the right combination to make it all work. Obviously it's working. We have the best record in the American League."

That doesn't mean Zobrist won't play some second base for Infante, who's hitting better lately, but still is at just .231.

"Is [Zobrist] going to fit in and play some second base?" Yost said. "Sure. He'll move around and he'll play everywhere. He's really good, so he's got to play. Gordy will need breaks when he comes back. We'll have breaks for Moose [Mike Moustakas], and Omar.

"But he's not going to second base strictly. Omar has been fine for me. He fits in the mix."

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.