Ned Yost media session: August 15
When Royals’ manager Ned Yost met with the media inside the dugout this afternoon prior to batting practice, the first subject brought up was the starting rotation. The question was asked if this period of time (August into September) is used a lot for evaluating different guys who can possibly be in the rotation next year and if guys are fighting to get a spot in next year’s rotation. Yost responded saying they are doing that and moving forward and the club is always looking at how they want to construct the starting rotation for next year and who they could see there. He said there are a lot of factors that go into it, but each start means something towards next year and the guys know that each time they take the mound. He followed that up by saying, however, it is much more about winning ballgames than it is about what is going to happen next year. Pitchers are going out there to win ballgames, not necessarily audition for a spot next year. He went on to say they have had a good August so far and have been pitching, hitting and playing very well and they want to continue to do so all the way to the end of the season. He said everyone looks to the future, but the short term is important as well. Yost was then asked if it is more difficult to evaluate in the month of September thus making August even more important. Yost responded it is tougher, but the focus is not near as much on evaluation as it is to win ballgames. He said they will take it day to day and then look at it as a whole at the end and go from there.
The next question to Yost was also about starting pitching and how big of a role the rotation has played over the last couple weeks as opposed to July when they struggled. Yost said the starting pitching has been very good lately and has given them a chance to win nearly every day. He said it makes it a lot easier to compete when they go out there and do that for the team. He finished by saying the starting pitching has been the biggest difference in the past couple weeks for the Royals success.
With today’s suspension of ex-Royal and San Francisco Giants’ Melky Cabrera for 50 games for using a banned substance, the final topic brought up by the media involved the suspension and the use of performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. Yost said it is sad and he was sorry to hear about the suspension. He said there is no excuse for anyone to take anything that is not approved by the training staff. He said you can buy numerous supplements over the counter these days that can trigger a test reading that will get players in big trouble. He said they tell their players they do not take anything unless a trainer gives it to them. Yost finished by saying the league has come a long way and has made a serious effort to crack down on the use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball and they are doing a good job. He said you can definitely see a difference from when testing started and got serious a while back.