Bonifacio makes Royals debut against Tigers
Newly acquired infielder starts at third base, collects hit in series opener
DETROIT -- Emilio Bonifacio went right into the Royals' lineup on Thursday night after being acquired from the Blue Jays the previous day. He started at third base and hit sixth against Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez.
"We like him better from the left side, so we'll use him primarily in those situations against right-handed pitching," manager Ned Yost said.
A switch-hitter, Bonifacio has hit right-handers at a .275 rate in his career compared to .255 against left-handers.
Bonifacio hit just .218 this year for Toronto although he's batted .273 over the last two months.
"I don't want to make an excuse, but I got hurt in May last year and I didn't play much until I got to Spring Training, so I think it took my timing a little while to get back," Bonifacio said.
He came from a Blue Jays team that was last in the American League East to a Royals team that still has postseason hopes.
"I was excited because I came to a team that was in the race for the playoffs," he said. "And I wasn't getting much playing time over there, so maybe here I can play more and help them out."
Bonifacio wore uniform No. 1 for Toronto, but that's assigned to Jarrod Dyson on the Royals so he had to pick another number. His choice gave him the highest number on the roster: 64.
"They told me the numbers they had available and I asked for it because it's the one I wear in the Dominican in winter ball," he said. "So even my little brother talked to me yesterday and said, 'Wear 64,' so I just decided to do it."
His brother is Jorge Bonifacio, a highly-regarded outfielder and the Royals' No. 5 prospect according to MLB.com who is with Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
"He called me right away, he was really excited," Emilio said.
Bonifacio singled in his first Royals at-bat in the 4-1 loss to the Tigers and performed well at third.
"I was really impressed," Yost said. "I thought he did a good job of playing third base -- a very nice, athletic third base. Swung the bat very well, got a base hit and smoked that last ball to the shortstop for an out. I was pleased with him."
Duffy then Shields as starters for Friday's DH
DETROIT -- The Royals and the Tigers were employing some gamesmanship in naming their starting pitchers for Friday's day-night doubleheader, but now they're finally in place.
The Royals will match left-hander Danny Duffy against Tigers ace Justin Verlander in the afternoon game and right-hander James Shields against lefty Jose Alvarez in the night game.
How did the Royals decide?
"We determined it the exact same way they determined it," Yost said. "Which game do you want to throw, James? Which game do you want to throw, Justin?"
Both Duffy and Alvarez are being called up from the Minors as the 26th player added to the roster on days that a doubleheader is played.
Duffy made his first Major League start since Tommy John surgery on Aug. 7 against the Twins with a no-decision, then pitched one inning for Triple-A Omaha on Monday.
"It was just a little brush-up on everything," he said. "I feel great."
Duffy's previous brief stay with the hot Royals this season was a revelation.
"I've been around for two days of it and it's definitely a change from years past, so I'm excited to do my part, whatever that may be," he said.
Yost favors MLB's expanded replay proposal
DETROIT -- The new proposal for expanded instant replay is getting a thumbs-up from Royals manager Ned Yost.
"I like it, I do like it," Yost said. "It's interesting, I haven't much time to delve into it, but I do like it."
The idea of having three managerial challenges to umpires' decisions during a game should be more than adequate.
"That's more than we need. I'm sitting back thinking, probably in the last two weeks or three weeks, I can't think of three calls I would have challenged. But it's still nice to have that ability to do it," Yost said.
"If you use three challenges in one day, somebody's having a bad day."
One time-honored tradition, managers' arguments with the umps, seems certain to be drastically reduced under this plan.
"I don't know the system for it," Yost said. "I don't know if you have to run out and say, 'I challenge this play.' There won't be any more arguing. And I like that. I like the fact that I don't have to argue with umpires because I'm not a good arguer to being with. I lose my mind, I start using bad language and you don't get anywhere."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.