How Hunter Dozier’s absence affects the start of the season

Hunter Dozier is the eighth and last member of the Kansas City Royals to test positive for COVID-19 and will miss the start of the season.

Yet another member of the Kansas City Royals tested positive for COVID-19 and this time it was Hunter Dozier, who mentioned in a statement that he had been experiencing symptoms.

So far, seven other Royals have tested positive, including Nick Dini, Cam Gallagher, Jakob Junis, Brad Keller, Ryan O’Hearn, Salvador Perez and Daniel Tillo. O’Hearn was the only non-receiving player to test positive so far, but now Dozier is joining him.

Perez is already back with the squad while Junis and Keller are allowed to return, but won’t be ready for opening day. The others are still waiting for the green light before they can join the team.

So what’s going on in the right field now for the Kansas City Royals?

Dozier was going to start on the right and that obviously couldn’t happen now, at least not in the first week of the season.

Alex Gordon will stay in left field and Whit Merrifield will stay in center field, as they both should. This now gives Bubba Starling and Brett Phillips a chance to prove they are worth keeping and it also sets the stage for newly acquired Franchy Cordero, who was brought in from the Padres in a trade last week.

The Royals could also choose to use Jorge Soler in right field, where he spent a lot of time before being used more as a designated hitter. Soler has established himself as the predominant designated hitter, so it would be wise for the Royals to keep him there.

Nick Heath is also an option, but he spent the least amount of time in right field last season, rather than in center.

The Royals have always struggled to find a mainstay in right field and Hunter Dozier was only moved there because they signed Maikel Franco to be their third everyday goal this year.

Dozier will need to quarantine himself, then test negative twice, have no fever for three days, and be cleared by a doctor before he can join the Royals. At this point, it doesn’t appear that any of those positive tests have been serious, the best we can hope for.

Yet – It feels like it’s going to keep hitting the team.

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