Ned Yost media session: April 16
Tonight the Royals will face 2011 Cy Young award winner and American League MVP Justin Verlander. Manager Ned Yost sees a lot of similarities of Verlander in Royals’ starter Danny Duffy. Yost said when he [Verlander] first came up he would go out and he was competitive, he would be on the attack and give you everything that he had on every pitch. This would only allow for about a 95 to 105 pitch outing in most occasions. He goes on to mention Verlander has matured over the years and has learned to control his effort very well to stay in games longer and that is why he is so good at what he does. Yost says Duffy is like Verlander in his early career, but he [Duffy] will learn with experience and more time in the big leagues to be the caliber pitcher he has the potential to be. Yost goes on to say Danny has great stuff and is a great competitor on the mound and he will learn to control his effort in time, with experience.
When asked about the move to put Mitch Maier into the game to pitch late in last night’s game, Yost responded it was done to save arms in the bullpen. The Royals had Holland get up and throw some in the ninth, but Yost said it just did not make sense as they were trying to be smart about their staff and make sure they had enough arms for tonight’s game and the rest of the series with Detroit. He went on to say having a position player pitch is one of the last things you want to do as a manager, but it was the smartest thing for the Royals due to their bullpen running thin throughout the Cleveland series. Now Holland is ready to go tonight, if needed, out of the pen, rather than coming off pitching two days in a row since he had thrown on Saturday as well.
With catcher Sal Perez on the DL, the Royals have been splitting the catching roles between Brayan Pena and Humberto Quintero. Yost has been impressed to this point by both catcher’s offensive presence and production. Yost goes on to say he has been impressed with Pena’s improvement behind the plate and his pitch calling and blocking. The two are a good mix for the Royals behind the dish while Sal is rehabbing his knee from meniscus surgery.