September 2013

Ned Yost media session: September 21, 2013

Royals’ manager Ned Yost met with the media prior to tonight’s crucial matchup with the Texas Rangers.  With the Royals delivering the winning run in last night’s game via the free pass, Yost first commented on the club’s ability to draw walks in the recent weeks of the season, and what has changed in the hitters’ approach to make them more patient.  “It’s more confidence I think than anything else.  They have more confidence when the step in the box, which means you don’t try to make things happen as much as much as when you’re trying to things happen earlier.  It’s all part of the process of becoming a team that score some runs.”

With the club vying for a playoff spot Yost was asked whether he is keeping a close eye on the results of those clubs also in the race.  “My mindset is, people are all different, and what works for me is to pay attention to us.  I don’t care what anybody else is doing, I don’t follow what anybody else is doing.  My whole focus, 100%, is on us every single day and what we can do to win a baseball game.  That’s what works for me.”

One of the strengths of the club this season has been the ability of the starting pitchers to go deep into games.   Three pitchers have eclipsed or are on the verge of eclipsing the 200 inning mark.  Yost discussed the importance of his starters being “innings eaters.”  “Going into Spring Training our goal was to have 1,000 innings for our starting rotation.  Erv (Ervin Santana) got over the 200 inning mark last night, James Shields has already been over the 200 mark, and I think Jeremy Guthrie is pushing it to.  It’s extremely important your starters do that; it keep them strong, it keeps them sharp, and it keeps the bullpen strong as well.”

Yost conclude by addressing why he believes the composition of this clubs defense, pitching, and speed make it a dangerous team late in the season and in to the postseason.  “That’s how you can go in to, and win a seven game series, is with pitching and defense.  All of our games are going to be close, it’s just the way that it is, every once in a while we might win 5-1, but the majority of the time it’s going to be 2-1 or 3-2 and pitching and defense keeps you in those games, and allows you the opportunity to win those games.”

Entering tonight’s contest the Royals sit just 2.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians for the second Wild Card spot, while the Rangers are just a half game back.  The Royals and Rangers are even on the season at 2-2.

By Henry Wear

Royals game preview: September 21 vs. Texas

Pitching matchup:  RHP Matt Garza (3-5 in A.L.) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (14-11)

Lineups:  Texas – Kinsler – 2B, Andrus – SS, Rios – RF, Beltre – 3B, Pierzynski – C, Moreland – 1B, Gentry – LF, Murphy – DH, Martin – CF, Garza – RHP

Kansas City:  Gordon – LF, Bonifacio – 2B, Hosmer – 1B, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Moustakas – 3B, Cain – RF, Dyson – CF Escobar – SS, Guthrie – RHP

Radio:  Royals Radio Network (610 Sports in KC)

TV:  MLB Network or MLB.TV (Check local listings)

Royals Game Notes (PDF file):  Game_154_vs._Texas

Trivia Note:  Jeremy Guthrie looks to win his 10th game at home…that has happened 15 times in a season in Royals history.  Rangers broadcaster Steve Busby did it twice.

Futures Night honorees visit KC

Kansas City’s minor league award winners had a full docket today as they visited patients at KU Med, then toured the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (we hear that they had time to fit in some Kansas City barbeque!)  This afternoon, they watched Royals batting practice, participated in an autograph session and were honored on the field before tonight’s game against Texas.  Congratulations to all of the honorees!

futures 2013 ku mednlbm 2013 futures2013 Futures Night

Ned Yost media session: September 20, 2013

The Royals open a huge series with Texas Rangers tonight.
The Rangers are similar to the Royals in the fact they like have runners on the move on the base paths. They come in second in the A.L. in steals with 132 trailing only the Royals who have 147.

Before the game manager Ned Yost met with the media to discuss tonight’s game. He was asked if Texas’ running game will offer a challenge to the KC’s pitchers and catchers.

“Not really. They are a team that runs more than most of the teams we face but with Salvy behind the plate we feel it gives us advantage in situations like that.” Yost added, “He makes you really think twice about when you are going to pick your spots and run. Again, a lot of it is predicated on the pitcher and how fast he can deliver the ball to Salvy.”

The last time the Royals and Rangers met was in early June in Texas. At that same time, Pedro Grifol became the team’s hitting coach. The Royals skipper was asked what his hitting coach has brought to the club.

“He is extremely organized and on top of everything. He pays strict attention to detail. He has an answer for every question the players have, whether that be about opposing pitchers or splits. He is very honest the guys, which is great trait. Quite frankly he does what a good coach does, he gets the best out of them,” said Yost.

By Kent Klooster

Royals Game Preview: September 20 vs. Texas

Pitching matchup:  LHP Martin Perez (9-5) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (9-9)

Lineups:  Texas – Kinsler – 2B, Andrus – SS, Rios – RF, Beltre – 3B, Pierzynski – DH, Moreland – 1B, Soto – C, Murphy – LF, Martin – CF, Perez – LHP

Kansas City:  Gordon – LF, Bonifacio – 2B, Hosmer – 1B, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Cain – CF, Moustakas – 3B, Maxwell – RF, Escobar – SS, Santana – RHP

Radio:  Royals Radio Network (610 Sports in KC)

TV:  FOX Sports Kansas City

Royals Game Notes (PDF file):  Game_153_vs._Texas

Trivia Note:  Ervin Santana has shut out the Rangers twice, both times in September.

Royals Game Preview: September 18 vs. Cleveland

Pitching matchup:  RHP Danny Salazar (1-2) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (7-3)

Lineups:  Cleveland:  Bourn – CF, Swisher – 1B, Kipnis – 2B, Santana – DH, Raburn – RF, Cabrera – SS, Gomes – C, Brantley – LF, Aviles – 3B, Salazar – RHP

Kansas City:  Gordon – LF – Bonifacio – 2B, Hosmer – 1B, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Moustakas – 3B, Cain – RF, Dyson – CF, Escobar – SS, Chen – LHP

Radio:  Royals Radio Network (610 Sports in KC)

TV:  FOX Sports Kansas City

Royals Game Notes (PDF file):  Game_151_vs_Cleveland

Trivia Note:  Eric Hosmer recorded his 77th RBI of the year last night.  He needs one more to tie his career best, set in 2011.

Ned Yost media session: September 18, 2013

Last night one of the Royals top prospects, Yordano Ventura, made his Major League debut. He was impressive hitting triple digits on the radar gun while allowing one run in 5.2 innings pitched. Today at Ned Yost’s pregame press conference he was asked about Ventura. “The first batter was kind of alarming, when he threw four pitches out of the strike zone but then he settled in nicely from that point on. He showed tremendous composure on the mound which is impressive for a young pitcher. He made a really nice debut.”

Today the Royals added infielder Irving Falu and left-handed pitcher Chris Dwyer to the roster.  Both are coming from the newly crowned Triple A Champion, Omaha Storm Chasers. Dwyer started last night’s Triple-A Championship Game against the Durham Bulls and he was brilliant. He retired the first 20 batters he faced before giving up a single in the seventh inning. The young lefty struck out eight batters in seven innings of work.  Yost was asked about both players.

“They are really good kids. He (Dwyer) was really impressive last night. It was a huge performance that helped them win that championship.” Yost went on to say. “It was a chance to get both of them up here and experience a little bit of this. We will find a way to get Dwyer in a game and Falu too. Irving is a valuable guy, like Pedro Ciriaco, he can play numerous positions and can run.”

The Royals rookie short-season club, the Idaho Falls Chukars, also won the Pioneer League Championship last night.

By Kent Klooster

Ned Yost media session: September 17, 2013

Royals manager Ned Yost met with reporters before tonight’s important matchup with the Cleveland Indians. Kansas City will hand the ball to 22-year-old Yordano Ventura, who is making his major league debut as the team takes aim at a wildcard spot. The skipper was asked if jitters and command were the biggest concern for the rookie. “We don’t really have a concern. We are just going to let him go out and pitch. We will keep an eye on him and see how he does.” Yost went on to say, “He will be fine. He has great stuff and a lot of confidence.” The manager also said there wasn’t a pitch limit for Ventura if he continues to throw strikes. He also noted the bullpen is ready to go if needed.

One of the big pluses for Ventura is having an All-Star backstop at his disposal. Ned Yost was asked what kind of luxury it is to have Salvador Perez behind the plate for a young guy like Ventura. “Sal knows Cleveland. He is going to be able to help him defensively. We are going to tell Ventura to stay with Sal. He just needs to concentrate on throwing strikes and let Sal handle the pitch selection. He can be successful by just staying with Sal.”

By Kent Klooster

Royals Game Preview: September 17 vs. Cleveland

T-Shirt Tuesday_Sept 17Happy Halfway to St. Paddy’s Day!  It’s T-Shirt Tuesday!  The first 10,000 fans will receive a Green T-shirt, courtesy of Irish Fest.  We hope to see you at The K!

Pitching matchup:  RHP Corey Kluber (9-5) vs. RHP Yordano Ventura (MLB Debut)

Lineups:  Cleveland:  Bourn – CF, Swisher – 1B, Kipnis – 2B, Santana – DH, Brantley – LF, Cabrera – SS, Raburn – RF, Chisenhall – 3B, Gomes – C, Kluber – RHP

Kansas City:  Gordon – LF – Bonifacio – 2B, Hosmer – 1B, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Moustakas – 3B, Lough – RF, Escobar – SS, Dyson – CF, Ventura – RHP

Radio:  Royals Radio Network (610 Sports in KC)

TV:  FOX Sports Kansas City

Royals Game Notes (PDF file):  Game_151_vs_Cleveland

Trivia Note:  Kansas City’s 17 strikeouts last night set a new team record for a nine-inning game.  The Royals had reach 16 on eight occasions since 1969, including one this year.

Ned Yost media session: September 16, 2013

Kansas City manager Ned Yost met with the media prior to tonight’s series opener with the Cleveland Indians.  Yost first talked of his decision to go with Jeremy Guthrie deep in the game in yesterday’s 3-2 loss to Detroit.  He was asked whether he second-guesses decisions he makes as a manager.  “Oh absolutely.  Sure I do, every night, it generally lasts all night.  You get those games like that and decisions that you second guess.  You’ll have decisions like that, and if you’ve got ten of them, nine times out of ten you’d probably do it the same way.  That was probably one of the ten that I wouldn’t.  You know it’s just one of those situations where you just make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Yost then discussed the anticipation level for the upcoming series as both the Royals and the Indians are fighting for playoff spots.  “You know its high, and it is exciting, and I think everybody is excited for this series.  We’re looking forward to it and we’re ready to see what happens.”  Going into tonight’s game the Indians are just 0.5 games back in the A.L. Wild Card race, while the Royals remain just 3.5 games back.

Yost concluded by discussing the decision to skip starting pitcher Danny Duffy’s scheduled start tomorrow.  “When Duff threw his last start here, on the second day after his start he started experiencing some mild tightness in his forearm.  We shut him down for the Detroit start as a precaution to it.  He was starting to feel better, but still felt that mild tightness, so we went and got an MRI and it’s a very mild flexor strain.  We’re going to use the utmost caution with him right now after coming back from Tommy John surgery be real, real cautious with it.”

The Royals and Indians begin the three game set tonight with both clubs in the hunt for October.  Cleveland leads the season series 9-7, but the Royals hold a 4-3 advantage at Kauffman Stadium.

By Henry Wear


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