Ned Yost media session: July 2, 2013

Royals’ manager Ned Yost met with the media prior to tonight’s series opener with the Cleveland Indians.  Yost first discussed the recent performances of David Lough, Will Smith, and Johnny Giavotella over their recent road-trip in Minnesota.  All three players began the season in Omaha, with Giavotella the most recent recall.  “Johnny had a great game on Sunday, David Lough had a great game, but he’s been swinging the bat well for us, Will Smith has come in a done a really nice job out of the ‘pen.  All three guys did a nice job.  Will Smith is making a change in roles from a starter to a reliever, early returns on that have been fantastic.  David Lough has been here for a while producing.”

Yost then talked of the club’s recent surge towards the .500 mark as Major League Baseball heads into the All-Star Break.  “Our first goal is to get back to .500 and get past it, that’s what we’re striving for right now.  It is encouraging knowing that the offense has yet to hit its stride all year long, and knowing that when it does hit its stride that there are going to be runs put up on the board.  You know that you can’t go the entire year underperforming like we have up to this point, in the back of your mind you know there’s going to be a lot of offense put up somewhere between now and the end of the year.  These guys swing the bats too well for it not to happen.”

Yost finally spoke to the marked hitting improvements of first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas, and the role that hitting coaches George Brett and Pedro Grifol had in their progress.  “I think George and Pedro Grifol should a get a big deal of credit for what they’ve done.  Not only Eric’s power surge and hitting six home runs in 60 at-bats, Mike Moustakas has raised his average 40 points in the last two and a half weeks, David Lough is continuing to produce, Salvador Perez has continued to produce, and Billy’s gotten hotter.  I think it all revolves around their work and the way they go about their business.”

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