KANSAS CITY -- With the first visit to a National League city three weeks away, Royals pitchers are practicing bunting and hitting.

There'll be no designated hitter at Pittsburgh, St. Louis or Houston, their National League stops next month. Most American League teams have at least one pitcher who can hit, or at least thinks he can.

Who is the Royals' best hitting pitcher?

"I don't think we have one," manager Ned Yost said.

Hosmer slated for starting duty on Saturday

KANSAS CITY -- Eric Hosmer isn't going anywhere, except back into the Royals' starting lineup on Saturday night against the Diamondbacks.

Manager Ned Yost said on Friday that, despite Hosmer's .174 average, he's not headed back to the Minor Leagues for a rejuvenation stay.

"We're nowhere near that point," Yost said.

"If you're just looking at batting average, he's struggling. If you watch him every single day, he's leading our team with 15 or 18 hard-hit line outs which, if half of those had fallen for him, we wouldn't even be having this discussion."

Hosmer, as of Friday, was second on the club with 18 RBIs and tied for second in homers with five. Yost took him out of the starting lineup on Thursday afternoon against the Orioles and Friday night vs. the D-backs after he appeared to be pressing a bit in a 0-for-7 slide.

"The reason he was sat down is that he was starting to get more impatient with the process -- he was wanting it to happen and was starting to come out of his approach a little bit," Yost said. "So it was a good time to give him time for some mental cleansing, relax a little bit, get his mind straight and, bam, right back in there again."

Yost added: "People don't want to hear this, but he's hitting in incredibly bad luck."

Yost said that he'd gone through similar funks at Milwaukee with future All-Stars such as Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks and J.J Hardy, and last year with Royals Alcides Escobar and Mike Moustakas.

"Esky's having an All-Star caliber year at this point, he's hitting .300. Moose is having an All-Star year to this point, he's hitting .293," Yost said.

Yost is confident that Hosmer will have a similar rebound.

"This kid could be better than all of them," Yost said. "I have total belief that this kid is going to be one of the best players in the American League."

Teaford still in 'pen despite probable start

KANSAS CITY -- Although Royals left-hander Everett Teaford is listed as the starting pitcher against the Diamondbacks on Sunday, that's not etched in stone.

Teaford, recalled from Triple-A Omaha on Thursday, still will be on standby as the bullpen long man on Friday and Saturday nights, manager Ned Yost said.

"He's a probable [starter]," Yost said before Friday night's Interleague opener. "If I have to use him tonight and tomorrow, he won't pitch Sunday, I'll tell you that."

In three starts for Omaha, Teaford was 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA.

"I pitched well down there and got more consistent," Teaford said. "I was throwing more strikes, so hopefully it'll translate to here."