When the Royals opened interleague road games last year, designated hitter Billy Butler was on the bench.
That won't be the case Friday night, when the Royals play at Pittsburgh. Butler will be at first base and first baseman Eric Hosmer will move to right field, making his major league debut as an outfielder, although he played a few innings there in spring training.
Jeff Francoeur, who has started 54 of the first 55 games in right field, will switch to center field and center fielder Jarrod Dyson will go to the bench, but could be a valuable asset as a pinch runner.
"We went into (interleague play) last year and had Billy sitting on the bench," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The way Billy's swinging the bat this year, we can't afford to do that.
"We've got to have Billy on the field during these National League games. It just gives us options to get our best hitters on the field."
Butler is batting .296 and leads the Royals with 11 home runs and 35 RBI.
Hosmer has been taking fly balls in right field during the recent six-game homestand.
"He's such an athletic player, he's going to be able to make an adjustment," Yost said. "He can play all three outfield positions. He's a very good defender at first base. He gives us options and that's a good thing to have."