Edward Olivares has chance to crack Royals’ lineup

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KANSAS CITY — Royals manager Mike Matheny indicated the Royals are going to take an extended look at outfielder Edward Olivares, acquired Saturday in a trade with the Padres. Olivares made his first start with Kansas City on Thursday and delivered two hits, scored two runs and made one superb

KANSAS CITY — Royals manager Mike Matheny indicated the Royals are going to take an extended look at outfielder Edward Olivares, acquired Saturday in a trade with the Padres. Olivares made his first start with Kansas City on Thursday and delivered two hits, scored two runs and made one superb defensive play.

Getting a look at Olivares in center field will have a ripple effect. It likely will move Whit Merrifield from center to right field, and Hunter Dozier from right field to first base.

And with Alex Gordon entrenched in left field and Jorge Soler the same at DH, it will get increasingly harder for Matheny to find at-bats for Ryan McBroom and Ryan O’Hearn.

“That’s what happens in situations like this,” Matheny said. “If you’re going to look at this player or that player, someone else won’t be starting. … Uultimately, you want someone to just grab a spot and not give it back.”

One benefit to having Olivares in center field is that the Royals would be fielding likely their best overall defensive lineup with American League Gold Glove Award winner Gordon in left, speedy Olivares in center and solid defender Merrifield in right.

“Whit is really a plus-plus right fielder with the jumps he gets,” Matheny said.

Dozier also continues to improve defensively at first, and he made an impressive diving catch on a liner Thursday night.

“You have to be able to defend in our ballpark,” Matheny said. “And we’ve seen that in the games we’re in, it’s because of good defense and good pitching.”

Childhood Cancer Awareness Night
The Royals will proudly join MLB in honoring fighters and survivors during Childhood Cancer Awareness Night on Saturday when Kansas City hosts the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium.

The team has partnered with The University of Kansas Health System, Braden’s Hope for Childhood Cancer, Noah’s Bandage Project and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation on the effort. The Royals will present 43 pediatric cancer heroes as Royals Fanbassador cutouts starting Friday night.

The number 43 is significant: for the rest of the season, those 43 cancer heroes will serve as a reminder of the 43 children each day who are diagnosed with cancer in the United States. As an additional show of support, Royals Charities will donate the proceeds from the current homestand’s 50/50 raffle presented by Edelman & Thompson to childhood cancer research.

There’s more: In honor of children battling cancer, gold ribbons will be featured on the lineup cards, base jewels and items worn by on-field personnel. The recipient of the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat on Saturday night will be Susan Bennett, a long-time volunteer with Braden’s Hope.

Royals left-hander Danny Duffy also is a big part of the effort. Duffy is partnering with Royals Charities to announce a donation of $110,000 to Noah’s Bandage Project for Childhood Cancer Research.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.