Ned Yost media session: April 29

Royals left-hander Bruce Chen was moved back in the rotation for the second time this season on Tuesday after experiencing pain in his lower back and leg. Yordano Ventura will now start on Wednesday, with Chen scheduled to take the mound vs. Detroit on Saturday.

“He’s still bothered with the pain that’s running down his leg a little bit,” said manager Ned Yost. “It’s a disc that’s bulging against a nerve.”

Chen received an MRI and an epidural aimed at reducing the size of the bulging disc and alleviating the pressure being applied to the nerve. According to Yost, the recovery time is 72 hours.

“We go day-to-day,” said Yost. “If this is going to do what we think it’s going to do, he’s going to throw a side on Thursday and pitch his game Saturday.”

With just 10 home runs through the first 24 games of the season, Royals manager Ned Yost was asked to address his team’s power on Tuesday on the heels of a series win at Baltimore that evened Kansas City’s record at 12-12.

“My whole goal and focus is, if we can stay at .500 until we get hot,” said Yost. “Then we’re going to go on a nice run, and we know that’s going to be the case.”

Four of the bottom 11 home run hitting teams in Major League Baseball come from the American League Central. The Royals (.361 SLG, .674 OPS) and Indians (.359 SLG, .674 OPS) have encountered virtually identical offensive struggles – statistics not lost on Yost.

“I don’t really look outside of our division much, but when you look at our division, we play in the coldest division in the American League,” he said. “We play in Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Cleveland, the weather in Kansas City hasn’t been great yet. So you’re playing in cold weather cities early in the year where it’s more difficult to hit. It’s tougher when it’s cold. Nobody is running off and doing anything. Everybody’s just kind of staying packed up real tight.”

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