Ned Yost media session: June 10, 2014
With dark, grey skies looming overhead and mist still falling nearly 24 hours since the final game of the Royals’ four-game set with the New York Yankees was postponed until August, Kansas City manager Ned Yost spoke about the rainout and the inherent benefit of the extra day off.
“It’s still raining now,” said Yost. “It rained all night and into the morning, so there’s not much you could do [about the rainout]. But rest was the biggest positive that comes out of it.”
Brett Hayes was scheduled to catch in place of Salvador Perez last night, but the rain-out gave Perez a night off without costing the team a game without its Gold Glover behind the plate. Additionally, Nori Aoki will take the night off tonight, with Jarrod Dyson replacing him in the outfield.
“It’s just a day off, but, you know, Dyson has had some success against [Corey Kluber] and it was an opportunity to give Nori back-to-back days off with the rain-out yesterday,” said Yost. “It’s hard to pick spots to give Nori days off because he hits lefties so well. This was a day when Dyson had some good match-up numbers.”
Dyson will take Aoki’s lead-off spot in the order, a decision made with an eye toward maintaining continuity in a lineup that has shown significant signs of life of late.
“It’s just a comfort level, especially with younger players,” Yost said of a player’s spot in the batting order. “When you start moving the lineup around, you’ve got guys that think that they’re three-hitters, guys that think that they’re four-hitters, that they’re two-hitters, and they come in and they’re hitting seventh. Now they think they’ve got to get four hits to get back to three. That just makes the process longer. You stay with it as long as you can.”
Yost has shown a desire to leave the heart of his lineup largely in place throughout the season, a discipline he says he learned while coaching under former Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox.
“Bobby said what he always did was wait until he got to the point that he was ready to move them, and then wait another week,” explained Yost. “That’s coming from a Hall of Fame manager. He understood the importance of continuity and comfort in a spot in the lineup. The back end of it, too, though, is you’ve got to be productive in that spot. If I didn’t have faith that these guys would produce, we would have made a change a long time ago.”
The Indians enter the two-game series as arguably the hottest team in baseball, winners in nine of their last 10 games – a fact that is not lost on the Royals’ manager.
“They’re swinging the bats really well,” said Yost. “They’re an athletic team, they play with a lot of energy. They’ve got guys that are hot. [Lonnie] Chisenhall out there has been swinging the bat well all year long. Michael Brantley, I think, is one of the better players in the American League. [Asdrubal] Cabrera is a guy who has always been consistent. They’ve got switch hitters. They’ve got power. They’ve just got a really, really good team.”
Chisenhall, specifically, is coming off of one of the most prolific outings in Indians history, a 5-for-5, three home run, nine RBI effort in a 17-7 victory over Texas last night. Already enjoying a break-out season, the 25-year-old former first round pick is now hitting .385 with seven home runs and 32 RBI.
“Last time we went in there, he was hitting .340 or .350 and your first thought was, ‘Okay, how much longer is this going to last,’” said Yost. “He comes back, and he’s doing the exact same thing.”
By Kolby Paxton