Ned Yost reviews 2011, talks about 2012

As the 2011 season concludes for the Kansas City Royals, manager Ned Yost wrapped up the year with his final thoughts and statements in a press conference held today at Kauffman Stadium. Yost informed the media that bench coach John Gibbons and pitching coach Bob McClure will not be returning for the 2012 season. Gibbons had been with the Royals for three seasons after being named to the staff on October 13, 2008 and McClure had spent six seasons with the Royals. Yost praised both of the coaches for their time and talents that set a great foundation for KC’s young squad.

Yost commented that the organization is looking for a bench coach to guide the squad’s collection of young Latin catchers including Salvador Perez, Brayan Pena and Manny Pina. Yost stated that candidates for the pitching role will bring energy, a competitive spirit and a focused approach. Yost and the Royals organization agree that they have some big shoes to fill in both areas but are looking forward to adding to their coaching staff.

“They’re really hard to find, so you have to find one like I did with Mike Maddux [former Milwaukee pitching coach, now with Texas].  We got Maddux out of Double-A,” Yost said. “I’m looking for a guy that pitched in the big leagues for a long time with mediocre stuff… and those guys that have to work really hard at their game and have longevity usually are going to make dynamic pitching coaches.”

Offensively and defensively the Royals squad made steps towards improving. Yost commented that he would like to see his players take more walks in the 2012 season but explains that everything comes with experience and time. For the rookies, the 2011 season has been full of learning experiences which will only help the team enter next season with a more relaxed approach. Yost praised his squad for surpassing his expectations during the 2o11 season and explains how the Royals organization has taken great strides to get where they are today.

“What Dayton has done here in the last five years in rebuilding this system has been amazing, with the scouts that he has hired, both professional and amateur, to get these players, to beat the bushes all over the country to find these special players and then turn them over to an outstanding player development staff that has worked for the last three and four and five years with these guys and getting them ready to get to this point,” Yost said. “It’s been tremendous and now we’re starting to finally see it at the Major League level but it’s still a process.”

Minor league left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery and Royals right-handed reliever Aaron Crow were mentioned by Yost as players that will have a chance to compete for a starting role. Yost commented that both the squad’s rookies and veterans have impressed him during the month of September by pushing through, continuing to stay focused all the way till the very end.

“I’ve never seen a group of guys that played so hard in September, being in our situation, with their mindset to play hard, to finish the year out strong, and to get momentum going next year,” Yost said. “They we’re really focused and intent on doing that as a group.”

The Royals will host the 2012 MLB All-Star Game on July 10. Yost served as an All-Star coach for Bobby Cox while with Atlanta.  He explained that his previous experience with the All-Star Game was one of his greatest memories and beleives that it will be a memorable experience for the Royals organization, the squad, andKansas City. The Royals skipper encouraged fans and teams alike to enjoy all of the events, saying that it’s something you’ll never forget.

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