Ned Yost media session: May 23

The first topic in Sunday’s interview with manager Ned Yost concerned base stealing and “small ball” in general. Yost believes there has been a trend toward “small ball” the last couple of years. He added that it’s important to maximize base stealers, which he does by being aggressive. In fact, Yost says there’s even times when a Billy Butler type player can steal, such as when the pitcher takes his focus off the runner. But he wants to make sure it is not counterproductive, meaning the runners should be successful at least three out of four times.

The manager then discussed the team’s bullpen ERA, which has dropped from over 5.00 to under 2.00 since he took over as manager. Despite the success during his short tenure, the skipper doesn’t take credit for the improvement. Yost simply said the pitchers are on a good roll and all he has done is give the guys confidence and put them in situations where they can be successful, which they then have taken advantage of.

Yost also had nothing but positive things to say about today’s starter Zack Greinke. He characterized Zack as extremely competitive, smart, bright, and truthful. Yost also described Greinke as the total package. Yost believes the Cy Young winner should just keep doing what he’s doing–attack, command, and be Zack.

Finally, Yost gave praise to third base coach Eddie Rodriguez. He said Rodriguez is doing a great job at third, which is the only coaching position that is actually more like a player. Like the players, Rodriguez’s decisions determine the outcome of the game. Yost said Rodriguez also plays a major role as the infield coach, where he makes sure everyone in the infield is in the right spot for every single pitch.

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