Jakob Junis, defensive shift prove to be difference-makers in Royals’ win vs. Tigers

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April 3, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost during a game against the Colorado Rockies at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on August 24, 2017. John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS

Major League Baseball: Royals 1, Tigers 0

DETROIT — Royals manager Ned Yost ushered a group of reporters out of his Comerica Park office Monday morning, eager to work on his game plan against the Tigers before the teams’ first matchup of the season.

A lot more defensive shifts, he said, were going to be put into use. About 2,000. More than he’d ever wanted to incorporate in the past.

John Williams, the Royals’ senior director for quantitative analysis, and baseball operations assistant Michael Cifuentes had preached the benefits of shifting the infield alignment to limit base hits for years. The analytics finally won Yost over.

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