Results tagged ‘ Ned Yost ’
Newly acquired right-handed pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis donned Royals uniforms for the first time today at a morning press conference. General Manager Dayton Moore and Manager Ned Yost joined the media session.
Yost said that Shields and Davis “have winning flowing in their veins”. He is excited with these additions plus Jeremy Guthrie and Ervin Santana, noting how important it is to have five consistent starters. The aforementioned pitchers currently line up as KC’s first four, with Yost foreseeing a spring battle for the fifth spot.
Yost saw the 2012 All-Star week as a turning point, noting the big crowds for all of the events that week. He is excited for the possibility of a similar “phenomenal atmosphere” at Kauffman Stadium in 2013.
Shields echoed Yost’s comments, noting the passion and drive of the fan base. Shields settled in with a number 24 jersey, though he has worn 33 for most of his career. That number is currently held by Jeremy Guthrie. Lighthearted negotiations for 33 are ongoing, with Shields knowing that he may have to find a pair of shoes (or two) for Guthrie, who likes his sneakers.
Moore and Yost were asked about the importance of a winning culture, something that is hard to put into numbers. Yost cited his experiences in Atlanta, where the addition of a few key pieces were the difference as the Braves went from worst to first. Moore spoke about Zack Greinke and his return from anxiety issues. Moore believes that the culture – from the front office to the media – helped Greinke get to where he is today.
Speaking of Greinke, Davis was asked about a May, 2010 start in which he tossed 7.0 shutout innings in a 1-0 Rays win over the former KC righty. Davis remembered it fondly and is ready to have more opportunities as he returns to a starting role.
Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost and head athletic trainer Nick Kenney were named today as a coach and trainer, respectively, for the American League All-Stars at the 83rd All-Star Game to be played on Tuesday, July 10 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Yost, who also was selected to the N.L. All-Star coaching staff in 2005 in Detroit, will join Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin as members of the staff selected by A.L. All-Star manager Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers. Yost was also a part of Bobby Cox’ N.L. All-Star staff as a Braves coach in 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 2000 following Atlanta’s five World Series appearances that decade. Yost becomes the 10th Royals manager to be appointed to the All-Star staff, joining Bob Lemon (1972), Jack McKeon (1974), Whitey Herzog (1978), Dick Howser (1982, 1985), Hal McRae (1992), Bob Boone (1996), Tony Muser (2001), Tony Pena (2004) and Trey Hillman (2009). In addition, the Royals’ Jim Frey and Howser managed the A.L. squads in 1981 and 1986, respectively, following the Royals’ trips to the World Series.
Kenney, who is in his third season as the Royals’ head athletic trainer, is a first-time All-Star and will be joined by Lonnie Soloff, the head athletic trainer of the Cleveland Indians. Kenney is the fourth club trainer to be honored with a selection to the A.L. All-Star staff, joining Jim Dudley (1976), Mickey Cobb (1982, 1990) and Nick Swartz (1996, 2006).
Today, the Royals recognized honorees for exceptional contributions on and off the field in 2011. We’ll start with photos of the media session, which took place before the event.
Top to bottom: General Manager Dayton Moore, Manager Ned Yost, 2011 Les Milgram Player of the Year Alex Gordon, 2011 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year Bruce Chen and 2011 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner Eric Hosmer
We’ll look at several of the topics discussed, starting with…you, the fans!
Yost has the utmost respect for the fans in Kansas City and described them as a classy group. He knows that they are dying for a winner and that they deserve one. He’s never been in a stadium where the fans chant “Let’s go (team name)” as well as at Kauffman Stadium. He knows that the fans want to see a good baseball game and like him, expect a team that plays hard and never gives up. Yost believes that nearly every time that he left the dugout, his players had left it all on the field. He was impressed that the fans acknowledged opposing players for a milestone (example – their first Major League hit).
Are the Rays a realistic comparison?
Is it realistic to compare the Royals to the Rays? (Tampa Bay built their farm system and now they are headed to the postseason for the second time in three years). Yost believes that it is a fair comparison because of the depth of talent in Kansas City’s minor league system. He believes that the Royals are bringing players along at a similar pace to Tampa Bay. Due to the mental and physical demands of the Major Leagues, a majority of the group that was in Double-A this year needs to continue their development at Triple-A in Yost’s opinion.
On the coaching side of things, Yost is looking at ways to improve the information flow to the players through advance reports. He knows that errors will happen on the field, but believes in minimizing the opportunity to make errors.
As reported yesterday, all of the coaches will be back in 2011. Yost does have one position to fill as Rusty Kuntz will be working as a roving coach and special assistant in 2011. Yost knows who that person will be and expects an announcement to be made in the next few days, once the “I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed”.
Yost expects Aviles to be much stronger heading into 2011 as he continues his way back from “Tommy John” surgery. He would like to see Aviles at third base but needs to see more of him there to make a proper evaluation. Yost believes that Aviles is up to the challenge.
Yost said that the shortstop did a great job of staying focused this year and that Betancourt knows what he needs to work on. Betancourt lives in Miami, as does third base coach and fellow native Cuban Eddie Rodriguez. The pair will work regularly this offseason. Yost gave credit to Rodriguez for helping Yuni during the season. Betancourt is a clutch hitter and not an on-base percentage player, so Yost feels comfortable with Betancourt driving in runs from the seventh or eighth place in the order.
Yost believes that Butler will eventually become a 25-30 home run player who consistently drives in 100+ runs. The fact that his walks are up and his strikeouts are down is a sign that he is turning the corner. Yost sees Butler as a #3 hitter more than a cleanup hitter.
Yost believes that Greinke has the ability to be a Cy Young-caliber pitcher on a yearly basis. He said that 2010 was difficult for Greinke due to the notoriety that goes along with the award.
Both Brayan Pena and Lucas May were sent home with “prescriptions” on what they need to do to improve in 2011. Yost believes that Pena, an offensive catcher, did a fair job on game calling toward the end of the year. Bruce Chen’s shutout on Friday was a great example of Pena’s improvement.
Manny Pina, who played in a combined 91 games with Northwest Arkansas and Omaha, will get a good look in Spring Training. Pina is a defensive-oriented catcher and Yost believes that Pina’s offensive game will improve.
Moose on track
Yost will be traveling to Puerto Rico later this week to watch six of Kansas City’s prospects play on Team USA. He will see Mike Moustakas for the first time since early in the year, when he watched Moose at Northwest Arkansas.
Yost made it clear that it is important not to rush Moustakas. In his opinion, he would want to see the third baseman put up his Double-A numbers for a consistent period of time at Triple-A.
Welcome to the big show!
Lucas May will make his Major League debut tonight. Yost sees the start as necessary in order to get a good look at the catcher and see what he’s capable of doing. The manager doesn’t plan on filling May’s head with advice before the game, but does expect him to discuss strategy with tonight’s starter, Bruce Chen. Yost believes the veteran Chen will pair up well with the “newbie” and will have the patience to hang with the young catcher and help him get through his first start.
Detroit catcher Max St. Pierre is also making his big league debut in tonight’s ballgame after having spent nearly 14 years in the minors. St. Pierre spent 2007 Spring Training in Surprise with the Royals.
It’s a balancing act
Yost also discussed his “dual thinking,” meaning he first and foremost shows up everyday to win, but at the same time he is trying to figure out how to get better for next year. For example, Yost might let a player hit when he would normally would pinch hit for the player because he needs to see what the player is capable of doing in certain situations. He admitted it’s tough to balance the two, but he tries to keep it as steady as he can.
In the two-hole
With Jason Kendall out due to extensive repair to his rotator cuff, Mitch Maier is now seeing playing time at the two-hole in the batting order. According to Yost, Maier is statistically the best situational hitter on the team (Kendall had been second). Situational hitting is something the team tracks from game one until the end of the season, and is also something the club works on everyday.
Under the knife
Jason Kendall had extensive surgery today to repair three of the four muscles that attach to the rotator cuff. When doctors got into the shoulder, it was discovered that two of the muscles were completely torn off the bone. Yost said the doctor feels good about the procedure and Kendall will just have to take things month by month. Yost added that this is not something you should rush, and he knows the ever-eager Kendall will have to be reminded daily that he needs to be patient and smart about his recovery. Kendall should return to Kansas City at some point this weekend.
Yost also commented on Brian Bannister and Luke Hochevar’s return to active duty, saying the two will “piggyback” next Tuesday night at Minnesota. Bannister will make the start and Hochevar will follow. The moves will put Bryan Bullington back in the bullpen.
Looking good in the ‘pen
Yost believes the bullpen has performed well on a fairly consistent basis. On an individual level, he said nearly everyone is matching the high standard of throwing 4.0 successful innings out of 5.0. Additionally, he thinks all those involved in yesterday’s doubleheader did a good job of keeping the team in the ballgame and making it exciting. He said that in regards to today’s game, everyone should be available.
Grab the bull by the horns
Yost is looking forward to giving Jai Miller a starting opportunity today and hopes to see what Miller is capable of doing. Today is Miller’s first career start in the big leagues. Yost added that this is a time of opportunity for several players, including Phil Humber, Bryan Bullington, and Greg Holland, all of whom pitched on Saturday.
Bullington didn’t quite seize his opportunity yesterday, allowing 11 hits in 5.0 innings pitched, a sizeable difference compared to his previous start against the Yankees in which he surrendered only two hits over 8.0 innings. According to Yost, consistency is a must and is not something you can teach. He strongly believes Bullington’s outing against New York was not a fluke, and he expects the pitcher (as well as all his players) to not simply hold his job but rather take full advantage of it.
Last night’s events were frustrating for Yost because he had to burn a pitcher even though everyone knew a storm was blowing in. He said the team will try its best to get through tonight’s 18 innings without using yesterday’s starter, Sean O’Sullivan. Yost added that it wouldn’t be earth-shattering to use Sully and he knows the pitcher could do it, but he feels it is unnecessary to take that chance. Look for O’Sullivan to be available to toss a couple innings of relief work in tomorrow’s contest, if needed. That would be his normal side day.
Yost said Luke Hochevar looked great as he threw 25 pitches today. He also claimed the righty looked unhittable and without a doubt passed the test. The next step for Hochevar is to toss another session on Tuesday in Detroit. The number of pitches will increase to 30-35, and Hoch will throw 15-18, sit down for five minutes to simulate an inning break, and will then throw the rest. If all goes well, the pitcher will be sent on a rehab start next Saturday.
Additionally, Brian Bannister will make a rehab appearance on Monday in Omaha. Yost expects Banny to toss 25-30 pitches over 2.0 frames. Gil Meche will pitch in relief tonight for Omaha as well.
Making the grade
When asked if he will evaluate his young squad any differently in tonight’s game against the White Sox, a club competing for the division title, Yost said no, he doesn’t add weight to games against certain teams. The manager expects everyone’s best effort each and every day, and he will put his best team on the field every day as well. He believes he owes it to fellow division teams and the league to start his best lineup.
Same guy, new position
Yost doesn’t know exactly what the future holds for converted pitcher Brian Anderson, but he has definitely noticed the former outfielder’s success on the mound this year. Yost noted that Anderson’s fastball can max out at 97 mph and he throws it comfortably at 95 mph. He thinks Anderson is making great progress and deserves a look, but he doesn’t know if that opportunity will come in September or next spring.
? Yost said he moved Kila Ka’aihue to the three-hole in order to split up the lefties.
? Gil Meche left Kansas City today for his rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha. He should see action in tomorrow’s game.
In today’s pregame interview with manager Ned Yost, questions focused on the pitching staff. The first hurler to be discussed was Bryan Bullington. Having just earned his first Major League win after 8.0 innings of shutout work against the Yankees on Sunday, the media asked if the righty would see another start. Yost replied by saying he doesn’t know what the future holds, it could all depend on how Brian Bannister looks after throwing his next side, which was scheduled for today. Yost added that the eventual return of Luke Hochevar will force the coaches to make even more decisions about the pitching rotation. When asked how close Hochevar is to being ready, Yost said he is pretty close, as is reliever Robinson Tejeda.
Yost also provided his thoughts on pitchers who seem to have success in their first several starts in the Majors, saying most of the success is due to luck and the fact that teams have never seen the pitchers before. However, he was also quick to note that this was not the case for Bullington, who had also thrown very well in his first start this year against the Angels as well.