Ned Yost has been extremely pleased with the way his team has been playing to start the 2015 season. “We are playing with a lot of confidence. I have faith in everyone on our roster to go out there and get the job done.”
Ryan Madson has stepped up to give the Royals a big lift out of the bullpen this season. He came in for Chris Young and threw two perfect innings last night, bringing his ERA down to 1.38. “Keeping Madson was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make as a manager,” said Yost, “He had opportunities to go elsewhere if we didn’t put him on the 25-man roster. I’m extremely glad we decided to keep him.”
In other Royals bullpen news, Greg Holland is looking to make his comeback next week. Holland threw a simulated game today. Yost said that he has been looking great in his bullpens and is feeling better every day. So far, Holland has thrown four scoreless innings, recording four saves.
Last night, Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera matched up with Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera. According to Yost, “You had one of the best hitters in baseball facing one of the best relievers in baseball, when the game was on the line. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Manager Ned Yost told the media today that Major League Baseball tested Alcides Escobar for concussion symptoms and found that he had slower reaction speeds, even though he felt good. Yost said, “I’ve seen guys end their careers because of concussions.” The findings led to Escobar being placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list, and he is eligible to return next Thursday. Escobar wants to play because he feels good and wants to help his team win, but at the same he understands the severity of the situation.
Chris Young will be making his first start of the year for the Royals tonight, and Yost feels confident that Young will put together a good performance. According to Yost, Young has had good numbers against the Tigers throughout his career, and has been a great addition to the Royals so far this year. Nothing has changed in Young’s routine since he learned that he would be starting this week. Even during last night’s game Manager Yost tried to get Young to stay in the dugout to get a closer look at the Tigers hitters, but Young insisted that he go out to the bullpen just in case they needed him to pitch as he could watch the hitters from there.
The Royals announced that they have placed shortstop Alcides Escobar on the 7-day concussion disabled list, retroactive to yesterday, meaning he will be eligible for reinstatement on Thursday, May 7. In a corresponding roster move, the Royals have recalled infielder Orlando Calixte from Triple-A Omaha.
Escobar, 28, suffered the injury when he was hit on the side of the face by a pitch in the fifth inning of Wednesday night’s game in Cleveland.
Ned Yost had some good news to share about Alcides Escobar before tonight’s game against the Detroit Tigers, who left last night’s game at Cleveland after being hit in the head by a pitch. Yost indicated that Escobar had concussion like symptoms yesterday, but today is doing a lot better. He does not want to put him on the D.L. because things are looking as if he will be ready to come back earlier.
The Royals lineup will look a little different tonight, as Alex Gordon will be hitting in the lead-off spot. “He’s the best candidate for it right now. I want my hottest hitters to get as many at bats as possible. He’s done it before,” said Yost.
In pitching news, Yordano Ventura dropped his appeal today and will start serving his suspension tonight. “It was the best decision for the club,” said Yost, “we can get through the series unscathed if he dropped the appeal today.”
When asked about how his team stacked up against Detroit, Yost indicated that he is not going to take them lightly. “Every series is as big as the last. It isn’t going to be an easy four games but I have a lot of confidence in my guys. There’s a reason we got to where we are now.”
The Royals announced today that they have recalled left-handed pitcher Brandon Finnegan from Double-A Northwest Arkansas and optioned infielder Orlando Calixte to Triple-A Omaha. Finnegan will be in uniform (#27) for tonight’s 7:10 p.m. game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Finnegan, 22, opened the season with the Naturals, and made a pair of starts, going 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA (3 ER in 7.0 IP) with five walks and six strikeouts. The Royals’ first-round pick (17th overall) in last season’s June Free Agent Draft, Finnegan was called up to the Majors in September and made seven regular season outings and seven postseason appearances out of the bullpen, including two in the World Series.
Monday, April 27: Dish 440 or 412-28
Tuesday, April 28: Dish 440 or 412-28
Wednesday, April 29: Dish 441 or 412-29
Thursday, April 30: Dish 442 or 412-30
Manager Ned Yost was asked about the increased amount of focus the Royal hitters are showing at the plate this year; however, Yost said it’s not really focus but more lessons that the Royals have learned. Last year, “they would try to take the matters into their own hands,” which was evident by the number of 3-2 counts that led to strikeouts on bad pitches. This year hitters have learned to take the walk and let the next batter take his shot, which is attributed to the amount of trust the players have in one another. As a team they have become better by learning how to repeat “winning baseball” every game which has carried over since last season.
Eventually the Royals will cool off Yost says the team will be prepared for it. Yost described the season as, “full of peaks and valleys, you have ups and you have downs and your emotions have to stay consistent during those points.”
Omar Infante’s health is getting better every day and Yost said he could probably play today, but he just does not want to push him this early in the season. The versatility of Christian Colon is something that Yost values, noting that Colon is ”a guy that you’re confident in at shortstop if something happened to Esky, a guy you’re confident at putting in third if something happens to Moose, or you got confidence putting him at second base”. According to Yost, Colon is a good hitter and fielder, but most importantly, he’s a smart player.
Chris Young has been great for the Royals coming out of the bullpen, whether it be for one inning or three and he has earned Yost’s trust. Young picked up the win last night, the first of his career in relief and 66th overall.
By Sal DeFeo
Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera was suspended five games by Major League Baseball today, and manager Ned Yost thought that it was fair given the circumstances. Also with modern technology, it is easier to appeal the suspension which allows Herrera to pitch until the appeal process is over. Yost told the media that having Herrera available for the near future helps out the team especially with Greg Holland on the disabled list.
According to Yost, Omar Infante continues to improve in his recovery and was able to hit off the tee and in soft pitch without any discomfort. He expects Infante to be ready within a couple of days, and would be available today in an emergency situation.
After being hit 14 times through the first 12 games, the Royals have found some positives in learning how to deal with a situation like this, for both Yost and the players, if it is ever to occur again. It is still unclear as to why the Royals continue to be hit by pitches, whether it’s because they are the defending American League Champions or for any other reason, but to Yost it shows that teams are coming prepared and motivated to face them. The Royals play with passion and intensity and are ready for any challenge that a team may present.
By Sal DeFeo
In regards to Omar Infante’s groin injury, Ned Yost said the MRI revealed nothing alarming and they hope Infante will be able to play by Tuesday’s game. Yost had similar comments on Greg Holland’s MRI,” it was not a serious strain”. He also mentioned how Holland has been a quick healer in the past, which brings promise that he will heal according to the original time table. Concerning Escobar’s injury, he is still a bit sore however Yost expects him to be close to 100% for tonight’s game. Escobar in his past has played through injuries before and still been successful, according to the Royals’ manager. In three of the first four series the Royals have been involved in bench clearing incidents. At first Yost felt like it was just a fluke; however, now he starting to think it might have more to do with the Royals being the defending American League champs. Yost hopes that, for whatever reason these incidents keep occurring, things will calm down soon and go back to normal since no one likes to go through this type of situation. Yost expects Volquez to continue pitching the way he has been up to this point in the season, which has been, “very very good”.
By Sal DeFeo
Monday, April 20: Dish 444 or 412-32
Tuesday, April 21: Dish 441 or 412-29
Wednesday, April 22: Dish 443 or 412-31 (please note, this is a change from an earlier update).
Thursday, April 23: Dish 443 or 412-31
Friday, April 24: Dish 449 or 412-37
Saturday, April 25: Dish 445 or 412-33
Sunday, April 26: Dish 445 or 412-33