Ned Yost media session: July 11, 2014
After scuffling for the better part of June, Eric Hosmer has come alive of late, chasing a 17-for-89 (.191) start to last month with a torrid stretch of consistency that has seen the Royals’ slugger reach base in 14 of his last 15 games. Hosmer is hitting .339 (20-for-59) over the latter span, has homered in consecutive games, and is currently riding an 10-game hitting streak.
“He’s on time,” said manager Ned Yost of the Hosmer’s improved performance of late. “Before he was late. He was late getting his foot down, he was late getting his hands in the launch position. When you’re late, you make up for it by starting early. When you start early, you’re actually swinging before you get a good look at the ball and it makes it look like your approach is off kilter.”
While the number of “moving parts” in Hosmer’s swing could compound the complications inherent with a timing issue at the plate, Yost said that’s just “who he is.”
“He has a lot of loft to his swing,” said Yost. “He has a lot of power to his swing. He’s a kid that can hit the ball, when he’s right, to all fields with power. That’s what makes him unique.”
The Royals put an end to outfielder Nori Aoki’s stay on the disabled list this afternoon, activating him and sending infielder Christian Colon back to Triple-A Omaha. Aoki will be in his customary lead-off spot this evening, playing right field. Yost said that the decision to bring Aoki back was made, in large part, as a result of Alex Gordon’s wrist injury.
“Nori’s been feeling good,” he said. “We were going to try to make it through the All-Star break with him and just get him some more at-bats, but with Gordy going down and only three outfielders, it kind of limits what you can do. It limits your depth out there. Raul [Ibanez] has been going every single day. So we decided to get Nori back up here.”
Ibanez will be out of the lineup tonight, as Jarrod Dyson – not Aoki – moves to left field, with Lorenzo Cain in centerfield.
“Dyson is more capable of being out there,” said Yost. “Dyson can play all three positions equally as well. Nori, the majority of the time, has played right field. So we’ll leave him where he’s comfortable and Dice is comfortable with moving anywhere on the field.”
Ibanez was charged with an error in left field last night that ultimately allowed Miguel Cabrera to score on the back end of a J.D. Martinez RBI single. Yost said that he does not perceive Ibanez as a defensive liability, however.
“On the road, Raul played great defense in the outfield. We’re in a little bit bigger park here than we were in Tampa or Minnesota or Cleveland, but he’s done a good job for us defensively.”