Teahen at first for first time this season
Hillman shakes up lineup for third game in Boston
BOSTON -- There was a new wrinkle to the Royals lineup posted by manager Trey Hillman on Wednesday night.
Mark Teahen, for the first time this season, was listed at first base.
That's a move that Hillman had talked about during Spring Training but, for a variety of reasons, had not tried until now. One factor was that David DeJesus was out with injuries early in the season.
The move enabled Hillman to play an outfield of Jose Guillen in left, Joey Gathright in center and DeJesus in right. Billy Butler moved back into the designated hitter slot from first base.
Teahen began the season in left field, then returned to right field -- his position last year after switching from third base.
"Obviously, it's something new, but I played there a few times last year, so I'm not too worried or too concerned about it," Teahen said. "I'm looking forward to slapping some tags on them when they pick over."
Hillman believes that the move could benefit the Royals' offense, especially against a right-handed pitcher, and provide extra speed in the outfield, with Gathright and DeJesus especially providing wide coverage.
Hillman noted that this was one of 22 possible lineups he posted during Spring Training. So he dusted it off and let his coaching staff pass judgment.
"I showed this one today and I got several 'I like it,' " he said. "So other guys are thinking along with me."
Gathright was ready to play after missing four games because of a shoulder injury sustained in a collision with DeJesus at Florida.
"Hopefully, it serves us well, getting Joey back in the lineup," Hillman said.
The move in no way indicates dissatisfaction with the way that Butler has played first base, he added.
"I'm very satisfied with the way he's playing first base," he said. "As a matter of fact, he's a little further along than I thought he would be six or seven weeks into the season. I think he's surprised a lot of people."
Butler has started 18 games at first base, gradually supplanting Ross Gload at the position.
"He's not only developed into something playable, but he's made some very nice picks and some very smart plays," Hillman said.
Meanwhile, Teahen dug deep into his locker to pull out a first baseman's mitt.
"It has my name on it and everything, but this one isn't really broken in," he noted.
So he dug in deeper and came out with a more limber glove.
"This one will get it," he said. "It doesn't have my name, but it's mine. Trust me. I didn't steal it."
Teahen might need the glove a while longer. Hillman will see how this lineup works and then, who knows?
"It could work out long term," Hillman said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.