Mondesi could be center-field option for 2018

Mondesi could be center-field option for 2018

CHICAGO -- While the Royals' front office has casually mentioned the notion that middle infielder Raul Mondesi could play some center field in 2018, manager Ned Yost said there is no set-in-stone plan on the subject.

But Yost said having Mondesi play some center field certainly is possible next season.

"If you watch Mondi in batting practice, when he's done taking ground balls, he goes out and shags balls in center field," Yost said. "He's very athletic and looks natural out there. Could he do that? Yeah.

"It's been mentioned. But have we talked about it [in terms of planning]? No. I'm already thinking of Spring Training and he will play some short, some second, some outfield.

"The same with [Ramon Torres]. He's athletic with a strong arm. It's that versatility that can't hurt you."

The Royals may have to plan a future without pending free agent Lorenzo Cain in center field.

"But we haven't talked about Mondi full-time in center," Yost said. "... Because of his arm and athleticism, he could play anywhere."

Yost pointed out that even if the Royals don't re-sign Cain, they still have Paulo Orlando as an option in center field in 2018.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.