This season is not a new question for the Kansas City Royals, being an American League club who have been travelling to National League stadia for well over a decade now. But for the first time this year there are two new aspects.
First off, the move of the Houston Astros to the American League and subsequent shift in the schedule means that there will be interleague play throughout the year instead of just the main blocks in June. For the Royals specifically, they will actually play in the National League before they even play at home as the second series of the year takes them to play the Philadelphia Phillies.
The other change this year is that the Royals have the best designated hitter in baseball in Billy Butler. It is true and borderline self-evident that the designated hitter should not exist at all, but for the moment that is somewhat beside the point. What matters is that neither not omitting Butler from the lineup or trying to slot him in at first base are desirable courses of action for the Royals.
The everyday first baseman, Eric Hosmer looks like he will put his struggles last year behind him. If he fails then that will at least provide an easy answer, but not only will the Royals hope it does not come to that, they certainly cannot rely on it. There are no really good options for the Royals, last year they actually tried to slot Hosmer into the outfield, but the best bet is probably to bite the bullet and have Butler in as a pinch hitter.