Billy Butler 1B/DH OAK 8 Days

Butler, who signed a three-year deal with the A's in mid-November, is expected to play first base against left-handed pitching in 2015, manager Bob Melvin told MLB Network Radio on Tuesday.

Butler's OPS against right-handers dropped by 130 points from 2013 to last season (from .783 to .653). Against left-handers, he hit .321 with an .847 OPS. The A's frequently use platoons, and it appears Butler could be in one in 2015.

Billy Butler 1B/DH OAK 29 Days

Butler signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the A's on Tuesday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.

Instead of rebounding after a down year in 2013, Butler regressed even further at the plate this past season, with his OPS against right-handers dropping by an even 130 points (from .783 to .653). He managed just nine homers in 603 plate appearances, making the decision not to pick up his $12.5 million option for 2015 a relatively easy one for the Royals. The 28-year-old Butler has always gotten on base at a good clip (.359 career OBP), and his pop will be a boost to an Oakland team that managed just 48 homers in the second half of 2014. He figures to serve as the team's primary DH next season, though manager Bob Melvin may look to swap Butler out of the lineup a couple times a week based on matchups.

Billy Butler 1B/DH OAK 2 Months

The Royals declined to exercise Butler's team option for 2015, making him a free agent.

This was widely anticipated, as the $12.5 million option would have been a pretty steep price for a declining designated hitter. Butler hit .271 with just nine home runs in 151 games in 2014, but his .310 BABIP and 6.9 percent home run/fly ball rate each marked six-year lows, so there's a chance he could have a bounce back season. Only American League teams will be interested in Butler, but there are only a couple ballparks that wouldn't be an upgrade over spacious Kauffman Stadium in terms of Butler's fantasy value, so there's reasons to be optimistic about his 2015 season.

Billy Butler 1B/DH OAK 3 Months

Butler figures to see increased playing time down the stretch, the Kansas City Star reports. "I plan on using him every day from here on out," said manager Ned Yost.

Butler has been losing playing time at DH to Josh Willingham and Nori Aoki of late, but it appears Yost will ride Butler as the Royals attempt to earn a spot in the postseason. Butler has just two hits in his last 32 at-bats, but he notched two singles and an RBI in Sunday's victory over division rival Detroit. On the season, the 28-year-old is hitting .266 with 60 RBI and nine home runs. He's just two seasons removed from posting a .313 average to go with 29 homers and 107 RBI.

Billy Butler 1B/DH OAK 3 Months

Butler is back in the lineup Sunday against the Tigers, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports.

Butler has yielded DH duties to Josh Willingham quite frequently of late, but will bat fifth in the order Sunday afternoon. Butler has collected just two hits over the entire month of September, but owns a .340 career batting average against opposing starter Rick Porcello. Although the matchup plays in his favor Sunday, look for manager Ned Yost to continue to limit the playing time of the slumping Butler, at least until he shows some signs of promise at the plate.

Billy Butler 1B/DH OAK 3 Months

Butler is not in the lineup Saturday against the Tigers, Josh Vernier of FOX Sports Kansas City reports.

Josh Willingham will serve as the Royals' designated hitter Saturday, as Butler sits in the midst of a 1-for-19 slump. It will be his ninth time on the bench in 14 games. With the team clinging to a Wild Card spot, manager Ned Yost figures to continue sitting the struggling Butler frequently over the remainder of the regular season.

Billy Butler 1B/DH OAK 3 Months

Butler is not in the starting lineup Tuesday, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports.

Royals manager Ned Yost has been using the DH spot a variety of different ways, which has led to more time on the bench for Butler recently. Norichika Aoki will handle the DH role Tuesday night.

Billy Butler 1B/DH OAK 3 Months

Butler is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Red Sox, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.

Butler's absence should not come as a surprise, as he will open on the bench for the firth time in the last six games. The Royals have had a revolving door at the DH position the last couple weeks, so it seems likely Butler's playing time will remain sporadic at best.

Billy Butler 1B/DH OAK 3 Months

Butler is out of the lineup Saturday against the Red Sox.

Butler appears to have lost a grip on the designated hitter spot for the Royals, now sitting for the sixth time in the past eight games. While he and Josh Willingham are still the top two candidates for the DH spot, Norichika Aoki will get a day off from the field and serve in that spot Saturday with Lorenzo Cain in right field and Jarrod Dyson in center.

Billy Butler 1B/DH OAK 3 Months

Butler is out of the lineup Wednesday against the Tigers, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports.

Despite his strong career numbers against opposing starter Rick Porcello (16-for-47, .340 average), Butler will find himself on the bench for the fourth time in five games. However, given Butler's steep regression at the plate overall this season -- including an ongoing 1-for-21 skid -- have improbably put his standing as the team's regular designated hitter in question. Unless he suddenly rediscovers the sweet swing that netted him 32 doubles and 29 homers just two seasons ago, Butler may be forced to share time with Josh Willingham the rest of the way.