Ned Yost media session: August 3
Alcides Escobar batting in the number two spot in the order was the first topic brought up when Ned Yost met with the media prior to batting practice this afternoon. Yost was asked if Escobar was the man for that spot long term into the future. Yost said they reached that point a while ago after they discontinued swapping him between the eight and nine spots and he started handling the bat consistently. Yost went on to say he believes it is the perfect spot for Esky because he has numerous offensive abilities and attributes such as situational hitting, hitting for power, situational bunting, speed when he gets on base (19 stolen bases) and more. Yost finished by saying Esky is very productive for the team from the two-spot whether it is getting a runner into scoring position for the middle of the lineup, bunting or driving in runs himself.
The back end of the Royals’ bullpen consisting of Aaron Crow, Jose Mijares, Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland and Tim Collins was brought up next. Yost was asked if he had ever had that many guys in the back of the bullpen before and what that means. He said he has never had that many quality guys. He said he has had those numbers before, but never this talented. Yost went on to say it gives the team the ability to mix and match against hitters or teams and it guarantees you have fresh, good arms out there every day. He then added generally you have your closer, two guys who you want in when you have a lead in the back end and the rest of your bullpen you throw when you are behind, but the Royals are different. They possess five quality guys who can and will be entered into a game with the lead but Yost does not want to throw them when they are trailing. He said beyond the sixth inning he has great confidence in the bullpen and with a lead in those later innings they will be very successful. The Royals have been extremely successful in the later innings aided by the fantastic bullpen Yost speaks of, posting a 36-4 record when leading after six innings, 35-2 with the lead after seven and 38-2 when their up after the eighth. Yost finished by saying if they can take a lead through the sixth inning he feels very confident about the bullpen and they will be successful a lot more nights than they will not.
The last topic was Mike Moustakas being absent from tonight’s lineup. Yost said Moose has the night off because the knee he injured during the Seattle series last week is sorer today than it had been. He said Moose has a bone bruise and it was getting better, but he hit it again last night trying to break up a double play and more soreness has returned. He said if he had not hit the knee again he probably would not be sitting Moose, but it works out a lefty is throwing for Texas tonight (Matt Harrison) so a day off is easier to take. Yost fully expects him to be back in the lineup tomorrow, however.