Ned Yost media session: April 5
Before the Royals’ American League Central Division opener against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, manager Ned Yost spoke about the importance of starting pitching and the pitch count expectations for rotation members early in the season. Yost said that he expects all starters to effectively throw around 100 pitches and noted that command of the strike zone is imperative to keep pitch counts low in the early innings.
As for the bullpen, Yost has not set a timeframe to establish specific roles, saying that the process will take care of itself over time. Relievers Aaron Crow and Tim Collins each recorded their first Major League victories in back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday. Yost emphasized that he will continue to place his young arms in tough situations to accelerate the learning curve.
First basemen Kila Ka’aihue made his first Opening Day roster at age 27 and excited the Royals faithful with a walk-off solo home run on Friday night. Yost attributed a more relaxed and patient approach by Ka’aihue that has allowed him to adjust to big league pitching. The skipper has also been impressed with the Ka’aihue’s defensive presence on the infield.