With the Royals out of contention, manager Ned Yost has trotted out a diverse variety of lineups with the new players he has at his disposal, hoping to find a recipe for success (though Jason Kendall's continued struggles in the two-spot suggest that Yost needs a new cookbook). Judging by the family events of David DeJesus, Scott Podsednik and now, Yuniesky Betancourt, perhaps that recipe should include an unorthodox directive to Yost's players:
Get a bun in the oven.
DeJesus left the team on May 24 to be with his wife, Kim, as they welcomed their first child, David Kingston DeJesus Jr. He returned to the team on May 27, and from that point through July 22, when an injury in New York ended his season, the Royals outfielder hit .363 with an on-base percentage north of .410. In that span, DeJesus also notched 14 extra-base hits over 46 games.
Podsednik, no longer with the Royals after being traded to the Dodgers the night of July 28, became a father on July 1. From July 2 through his last day with the team, the outfielder hit .366 with two home runs and went 7-10 on stolen base attempts.
Betancourt is the most recent of the proud papas. After missing four days last week while being with his wife for the birth of their first child, Betancourt returned to the team for Monday night's tilt against the Los Angeles Angels. Sure, it's early, but the initial result was fruitful, as he went 3-3 with a home run and two RBI's.
At least for the Royals, babies are proving to be the latest and greatest performance enhancer. While they are easily detected, they couldn't be further from the banned substances list. The math for August conceptions checks out to birth dates one month into the 2011 season, so slumping Royals (and there's a lot of them) better hurry.
UPDATE: Like clockwork, according to Joel Goldberg, newly-acquired outfielder Gregor Blanco is currently in Atlanta with his wife while they await the birth of their child. I'm not sure about you, but I'm looking forward to him hitting .360 over August and September, leading to him becoming the favorite to start in right field in 2011.