Ned Yost media session: August 20
Before tonight’s 6:10 matchup against the Boston Red Sox, Ned Yost explained the reasoning behind starting infielder Chris Getz at second base rather than rookie Johnny Giavotella. Since being called up on August 5th, Giavotella has started every game for the Royals at second, while Getz has yet to make a start. He has made just four appearances since Giavotella was promoted, and has just one at-bat.
“He [Giavotella] has played every day since he’s been here. Getz has played four innings, two innings here and two innings there as a defensive replacement,” Yost said. “It’s a chance to get “Getzy” in the game.”
Yost mentioned that Getz, who has seen his playing time diminish with the addition of Giavotella, has started taking ground balls at shortstop and third base in order to crack his way into the lineup a bit more. The added versatility may allow Getz to fill in at shortstop or third when the Royals need to give Alcides Escobar or Mike Moustakas a day off.
The Royals will be facing veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield tonight. Wakefield is one win shy of 200 career victories, which would make him only the 108th pitcher in Major League history and 89th modern Major Leaguer (since 1900) to accomplish the feat. Wakefield, at 45 years and 18 days old, is the oldest active player in the Majors. Yost contributes Wakefield’s longevity to his work ethic, as well as his style of pitching.
“He [Wakefield] is a guy that stays in tremendous shape. He’s got a tremendous work ethic,” Yost said. “He’s a very smart guy, and a knuckleball doesn’t take a whole lot out of your arm like a guy that throws sliders or breaking balls.”
With the Royals having such a young lineup, and the limited number of knuckleballers in baseball, Yost discussed that most of the Royals players haven’t ever faced a knuckleballer, let alone Wakefield. He thinks it will be interesting for those who have never faced a knuckleball to get a look at it. As for batting against a knuckleballer, this was all Yost had to say: “Just hit it. There’s no real strategy for it.”