Jarrod Dyson‘s ability to put pressure on a defense and serve as a constant pest on the bases has helped the Kansas City Royals return to .500 before their next homestand. Lorenzo Cain is undoubtedly missed and the team should be glad he’s well on his way to recovery, but it’s hard to ask much more from his replacement. KC’s offensive X-factor seems to be excelling in his role more-so now than ever before.
Dyson’s batting average for the season currently sits at an impressive .357 after 28 at-bats, but he’s hitting .450 in his last seven games. This recent production comes largely from Dyson’s newly found ability to bunt for a base hit. He’s done it before, I know that, but not with nearly the regularity and confidence that he’s showing this year. That’s a big deal for the fastest human that many fans in KC, including myself, have ever seen. (Seriously, KC’s own Maurice Green came to my elementary school when I was little. So I met that guy, that physically blessed Olympic gold medalist sprinter, and I still think Dyson’s faster.)
That speed should once again come in handy against a below-average defensive catcher in Dioner Navarro. Navarro may post some solid offensive numbers for the Toronto Blue Jays this year, but he’s struggling to throw out speedy base-runners. Only 4-of-22 would-be base-stealers have been caught by Navarro this year, giving him an 18 percent CS% which is 11 percentage points shy of his career average.
Speed never slumps, so KC should fit Dyson into the game plan whenever they can. That means giving Dice (Dyse? whatever) multiple starts during this stay in KC would be wise.