KANSAS CITY -- Billy Butler's season-launching slump caught everyone by surprise, including Royals manager Ned Yost.
Before Friday night's game against the Twins, Yost was asked if he'd seen anything like it from Butler.
"I don't think anybody has, because I don't think he's ever been through it," Yost said. "It's not surprising because he's human. It happens to everybody. He's not a machine.
"He's a top-notch hitter in the American League, but this stuff happens to everybody and you deal with it. It's the first time that Billy's had to work through something like this and it's kind of new to him -- all these feelings. Billy used to roll out of bed and hit. He can still do that, it's just that he got off to a slow start."
Butler came into this season with a .298 career average, but he was at .160 going into the series opener against the Twins. Yost kept him in the sixth lineup spot. He was dropped from the cleanup spot for Thursday's game at Houston.
"When the offense is struggling a little bit and you're the No. 4 hitter where a team really relies on your production, you tend to press a little more," Yost said. "Now, you get moved back into the six-hole, you kind of catch your breath and relax a little bit."
It might be new for Butler, but Yost says every hitter goes through it sooner or later.
"Billy's attitude is great, his work ethic is phenomenal right now," Yost said. "Billy's issue is just mostly timing. Once he gets his timing back, he's going to be in great shape."
In Friday night's 5-0 win over the Twins, Butler preceded Mike Moustakas' home run with a single and he also walked.
Royals call up Paredes to fill in for Dyson
KANSAS CITY -- Outfielder-infielder Jimmy Paredes was called up from Triple-A Omaha by the Royals on Friday.
He fills the vacancy left when outfielder Jarrod Dyson was placed on the bereavement list because of a death in the family. Dyson is scheduled to rejoin the club on Monday at Cleveland.
Paredes, 25, is a switch-hitter with a .319 average (15-for-47), one home run and four RBIs for Omaha. In 11 games, he's already played five positions for the Storm Chasers -- second base, third base, shortstop, left field and right field.
"I moved around. It's a good thing for me because it'll help me in the future," Paredes said.
Paredes played parts of the previous three seasons for Houston, batting .234 in a total of 118 games with three homers and 31 RBIs. He played second, third, left and right for the Astros. Paredes was originally signed by the Yankees in 2006 and dealt to the Astros in the 2010 trade that sent Lance Berkman to New York.
"I signed the first time as a shortstop and then got moved to third, then second and then the outfield. I've played all the positions," Paredes said. "When I started to play the outfield, I was a little confused, but now I've got it."
You could pardon Paredes if he got a bit confused about where he belonged over the past winter. In November, he was claimed off waivers from the Astros by the Marlins. On Feb. 15, the Orioles claimed Paredes off waivers and just two days later, the Royals claimed him from the Orioles.
"I said, 'Wow, where am I going?' They said, 'Kansas City, fly to Arizona,' so I took my flight there," he said.
Paredes trained with the Major League club in Arizona, was assigned to Omaha and now has found his way to KC.
Maxwell starts with Royals light in outfield
KANSAS CITY -- The strong and deep Royals outfield corps was suddenly depleted when, within two days, Lorenzo Cain went on the disabled list and Jarrod Dyson took bereavement leave.
That brought backup Justin Maxwell, who shared a backup role with Dyson, into the starting lineup. Manager Ned Yost had to decide whether Maxwell or right fielder Nori Aoki would take Cain's spot in center field.
"I don't think you gain an advantage in center field with either one, and Nori been consistently playing right, so we'll leave him planted there and Maxie can handle center fine," Yost said.
Maxwell was obtained from Houston last July 31 for pitcher Kyle Smith and played 35 games in the second half for Kansas City with a .268 average and five homers.
"All Maxie needs is a chance. We feel like since we got him in the trade last year, he's continuing to develop upward where he's still got a bunch of ceiling left in his game," Yost said. "It's hard to be productive when you're playing once a week so this is an opportunity for Maxie to get two or three games in a row playing."
Cain is on the disabled list with a left groin strain.
"All the MRI stuff came back OK today for Cain, and we're hoping it's just going to be a 15-day deal and over quick," Yost said.
Meantime, Jimmy Paredes is up from Omaha and Dyson is due back on Monday.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.