Ned Yost media session: September 3

With Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar forced to leave last night’s game with a slight left ankle sprain, Kansas City decided to take advantage of the expanded September rosters and call up infielder Yamaico Navarro to provide depth on the infield.  With Escobar unavailable, the Royals backup infielder in case of an injury would be back-up catcher Brayan Pena.  Pena’s lone Major League infield experience came way back in 2006 when he played three innings at third base for the Atlanta Braves.

“[Alcides] Escobar, we think, is day-to-day,” Royals Manager Ned Yost said.  “We don’t think it’s going to be a ten-day ordeal, but we brought Navarro up for coverage.”

Yost will try to use Escobar’s injury as an opportunity for the Royals to evaluate infielder Chris Getz at shortstop.  Getz has played sparingly since rookie second baseman Johnny Giavotella was called up on August 5, so adding to Getz’ versatility is a positive for him and the club.

Tonight, the Royals will send right-hander Luke Hochevar to the hill for the second game of the three-game set againstCleveland.  Hochevar comes into the contest with a record of 9-10 and an ERA of 4.97.  Despite only one win in his last five starts, Luke has turned it around since the All-Star break, going 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA in nine starts.  Yost has noticed the difference, and points to a number of factors.

“Since the All-Star break, he [Hochevar] has been very, very good.  He’s controlled the big inning, which was something that he fell trap to early in the first half,” Yost said.  “He’d roll along, and then get into trouble and it’d be a four or five-run inning.  He’s done a really good job of controlling that.”

“He’s kept the ball down, focused pitch-to-pitch more consistently, changed speeds, and pitched inside a little more effectively.  All the things pitchers do to be more successful.”

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