Ned Yost media session: August 28
The Royals are back for a 10-game homestand and will kick it off by playing the Detroit Tigers tonight. Manager Ned Yost met with the media in the Royals dugout before batting practice. He discussed the Royals offense during the seven-game road trip. “I am happy with (Alex) Gordon’s production in the three spot, he’s swinging the bat really well , driving in more runs and having opportunities to drive in more runs. I mean we went on a seven-day trip and really the two most productive players we had were (Eric) Hosmer and Gordon and Gordon hit right at .400 clip the whole road trip against some of the best pitching in the American League,” said Yost.
Conversely, Lorenzo Cain had a rough go in the leadoff position during road trip, batting .111. Yost said, “He’s more of a guy that will be a five-six-seven type hitter. When I think of a prototypical leadoff guy I’m thinking of a guy like (Jarrod) Dyson. Gordon did a good job there, but Alex is not going to steal second or steal third. Lorenzo can steal bases, but we are looking for a higher on base percentage and guys to get on base so we can get them in.”
Hosmer had a good trip on offense, but it has been a struggle for him most of the season. Over his last 12 games, he is batting .378 which improves his season average over .240 for the first time since April 9. Yost said, “He is swinging the bat a little better. He is starting to get to the ball middle-in better, driving the ball much better, shortening his swing and playing down his approach a little bit. Just things we knew he needed to do to get on track and he is doing it.”
Luis Mendoza will be taking the mound against the Tigers’ ace, Justin Verlander, in tonight’s matchup. Yost talked about what the key is for a pitcher who goes up against a guy like Verlander. He said, “You can’t focus on it, but you have to pitch your game. If you want to give your team a chance to win, you have to match him pitch for pitch. You don’t have to match him stuff for stuff, but you can’t go up there and give up four runs and expect to win a ball game against Justin Verlander.”