Results tagged ‘ Ned Yost ’
Bryan for Brian
Yost said Bryan Bullington looked good in his start against the Angels last Tuesday and he’s going to give the pitcher another shot tomorrow against the Yankees. He explained how the next six weeks are about opportunities anyway, so letting Bullington fill in for Brian Bannister is consistent with the plan. Yost added that he liked how Bullington kept the team in the game against Anaheim and gave the Royals a chance to win, as well as how the right-hander kept the ball down and attacked hitters.
A work in progress
Yost also discussed similarities and differences between Gregor Blanco and Scott Podsednik, saying the two are comparable hitters, though Blanco bunts better. When it comes to batting leadoff, however, Yost believes Podsednik is as pure as they come while Blanco still needs to be molded a bit. Yost is looking forward to Blanco’s development in this position because he thinks it is fun to take guys with Blanco’s type of ability and help turn them into good leadoff hitters.
What a relief!
Last night’s one-run game was made even closer due to a pair of Royals errors and some other mistakes that could have resulted in errors. Yost expressed his disapproval, saying teams can’t give four or five outs to anyone and expect to survive, though the Royals somehow managed to do so last night. He added that errors are part of the game–it’s how you cover them that’s important, and he was very satisfied with how Blake Wood and Joakim Soria did just that.
With temperatures peaking in the 100s today, the heat was an unavoidable subject. Like he’s done in the past, however, Yost simply shrugged it off by saying the players will need to disregard the weather and do the best they can.
Congrats to Kendall
Catcher Jason Kendall will be recognized before tonight’s game for reaching the 2,000 games caught milestone in late July. Yost sang the catcher’s praises by describing what a hard worker and mentally tough player he is. According to Yost, Kendall comes to the stadium early every day to watch video and develop a game plan for the starting pitcher.
Yost also commented on the recent announcement of Jose Guillen’s trade to the Giants. The manager said Guillen was a part of the Royals, and he set a good example of what it took to be prepared and play the game the right way.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore and his entire staff have had a busy few weeks, all culminating in a press conference today at Kauffman Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Moore and surprise attendee Royals manager Ned Yost sat down at the desk in front of local media to talk about a few subjects on today’s agenda.
The first topic was the announcement that the club and Yost had agreed to a two-year contract, keeping the manager in Kansas City through at least 2012.
Yost was asked how this situation in Kansas City compared to his time in Milwaukee, when he took over a club coming off a 106-loss season in 2002. The KC skipper said that while Milwaukee had a lot of very good prospects (Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy, Rickie Weeks among them), they were at lower levels of the system than the bulk of the top prospects the Royals have currently. He also mentioned that Milwaukee was unbalanced when it came to prospects, as they loaded up on power hitters and lacked in front-line pitchers. He sees a great mix of both pitchers (and power pitchers at that) and position prospects on the Royals farm.
Yost mentioned that he knew during spring training, as he took a look around the Royals’ complex in Surprise, that this is where he wanted to be long term. He mentioned that building relationships are the key ingredient to building championship ballclubs and putting the pieces together to build a champion is one of the most fun things in life to do. He plans to accomplish that here in Kansas City and to do it together with the people in the front office he’s built very strong relationships with thus far.
Moore was asked why he thought Yost was the right man to lead this club forward both in the short and long term. He responded that Yost’s leadership abilities are off the charts and his experience both in Atlanta and Milwaukee building a winner was a very important component. Moore did admit quite candidly that he had done his due diligence looking around at other managerial candidates, but he believes he found the right guy here. The communication between Moore and Yost, an extremely key component to building a winner, works very well.
The second topic was the big trade that sent outfielder Rick Ankiel and pitcher Kyle Farnsworth to the Atlanta Braves for outfielder Gregor Blanco and pitchers Jesse Chavez and Tim Collins. From all indications, the deal was finalized and approved by the commissioner’s office very close to the 3 p.m. CT deadline. Both Blanco and Chavez will join the Royals soon while Collins, a fireballing left-handed reliever, will report to Triple-A Omaha.
The 26-year-old Blanco was hitting .310 in limited time with the Braves this season and made his debut in 2008, posting a good rookie campaign with Atlanta in which he finished with a .366 on-base percentage. Royals GM Dayton Moore compared the speedy outfielder to Mitch Maier, in that he can play all three outfield positions well and can handle the bat. He likes the fact that the club controls Blanco for four more seasons so the team will have a chance to evaluate him as they move forward.
Chavez is 26. He is a right-handed reliever with a very good arm who has been inconsistent for the past three seasons in the big leagues with the Pirates and Braves. Chavez was traded this offseason for former Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura and then for All-Star closer Rafael Soriano. The California native will join the Royals bullpen.
Finally, 20-year-old left-hander Tim Collins has had a whirlwind month of July. He was first a key part of the July 14 trade that sent shortstop Alex Gonzalez to Atlanta and shortstop Yunel Escobar to Toronto. Small in stature at 5-foot-7, the southpaw has a well above-average fastball and an overhand curve that he has employed to post a 2.29 ERA and 87 strikeouts in just 51.0 innings at the Double-A level in 2010. Moore compared Collins to closer Billy Wagner, who currently has 409 saves in the Majors. The Royals GM told the media that his scouts have indicated to him Collins has a chance to be a contributor in the big league bullpen as early as next season.
Aviles to see time at third
Mike Aviles took groundballs at third base in an early workout today. Ned Yost would like to give third baseman Wilson Betemit a day off here and there as Betemit has had hamstring and legs problems in the past. Yost said that Betemit does not have an injury now, but that this is a preventative measure. The use of Aviles at third base will also open up more time for Chris Getz at second base, who the club wants to get a longer look at. Aviles could play at third as early as tomorrow. He is doing well as he progresses in his recovery from “Tommy John” surgery.
Luke to the mound?
Luke Hochevar continues to throw on flat ground and has worked his way up to tosses of 75 feet. He could be throwing off the mound in the next 10 days.
A reporter asked about Zack Greinke and his struggles in his last start against Minnesota. Yost talked about his coaching experience in Atlanta with ace pitchers Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. The three would have days where they would dominate, days where they would be ok and days where they would get hit hard. Yost said that no one is immune and there is no explanation for it. The best pitchers minimize the number of times that they are hit hard. He expects Zack to be fine.
Here’s what the manager had to say before Wednesday’s game:
On Victor Marte…
Having just sent Marte to AAA Omaha, Yost said the pitcher needs to work on his command. Yost does like Marte’s durability, however, which allows him to pitch consecutive days. The KC manager also mentioned Marte has good stuff, but just doesn’t change speeds enough yet.
On Wilson Betemit…
Yost thinks Betemit has done a nice job at third base, but also said first base is probably the player’s best position.
On the depth of a team…
According to Yost, championship teams essentially have two pitching staffs, which he claimed is what the Royals are working towards and is the team’s goal.
On preventing injuries…
Yost said there is no way to eliminate or limit injuries. However, he did say that he tries to use common sense and keep an eye on players before they break down. He said it’s important to know which players are prone to injuries and to give guys a day off when needed. Yost also pointed out that the club focuses a lot on hydration.
On Kyle Farnsworth…
To put it shortly, Farnsworth is feeling better and is ready to go today after exiting last night’s contest with a hamstring cramp.
Just a day after Gil Meche allowed seven runs on eight hits in his second rehab start, Yost announced that it is very likely the pitcher will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery in the near future. Yost said though the exact cause is unclear, Meche is still experiencing pain in his throwing shoulder, which leaves Meche and the Royals with their final option: surgery. Simply speculating, Yost imagines the doctors will have to go in and clean up the problem area with a scope, though he added that it could also be a repair job. According to Yost, Meche is feeling a little down because he worked very hard and did everything he could to get back this year, but in the end it just wasn’t enough. When asked what kind of an impact this loss will have on the team, Yost replied that it’s always a blow when a team loses a guy like Meche who is capable of winning ballgames, but the Royals will just have to move on.
Yost also provided a brief update on pitcher Luke Hochevar, saying he threw two sessions of 25 from 60 feet in his second outing since being placed on the disabled list. Yost added that right now Hochevar is in the strengthening mode and has no set return date, though the manager expects it will be fairly soon and he is on schedule.
Yost first discussed today’s lineup, which looks a little different than usual since Scott Podsednik, Jason Kendall, and David DeJesus have the day off. Wilson Betemit will take over for Podsednik in left field, a move Yost is comfortable with because Betemit played the outfield position while with the Yankees and Dodgers, as well as during winter ball. In regards to Kendall having the day off, Yost said he would prefer not taking Kendall out on a day when Zack Greinke takes the mound, but he just had to do it because of the heat and point in the season.
The manager also talked about the importance of quality pitching, which he finds particularly critical in the quest for wins at Kauffman Stadium. Yost added that the Royals need to continue to develop its young pitchers as well as amass pitching talent. He also admitted that the club is struggling in Gil Meche and Luke Hochevar’s former starting positions.
Yost doesn’t expect Anthony Lerew to make his next scheduled start due to injuries received after being hit with a line drive in last night’s game. Additionally, Yost expects Rick Ankiel to return to the club this weekend while in New York.
With the Royals now on a six-game losing streak, Yost said that they will have to fight through adversity by making adjustments and moving on. He added that a team doesn’t let losing streaks develop, they just happen. However, Yost does believe that you can control some aspects of the game such as preparation and focus, which Yost said every player must possess from the first pitch to the last. He stated that as manager, his main concern is getting the team prepared everyday, but unfortunately yesterday was the first time since he’s been the Royals’ skipper that he felt the team wasn’t focused 100 percent. Yost said he addressed the issue and has moved on.
The manager also confirmed that Gil Meche is still scheduled for a rehab start on Wednesday with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Yost imagines his pitch count will be around 40-60 pitches. Also, Luke Hochevar is still recovering from a bit of stiffness in his elbow after having an MRI this past week. Hochevar won’t throw until the stiffness is gone.
Rust vs. Rest
Manager Yost doesn’t think that rust is a factor in KC’s slow start to the second half. He pointed out that every team has a layoff.
Not peeking at the standings
Yost is emphasizing a day-to-day approach and looking at what it takes to win each game. He doesn’t study the record or the standings. The focus is to move toward .500.
Getz in the lineup
Chris Getz will make a start at second today. He has also taken some ground balls at third base.
Media members were asking about Kyle Davies, who will make the start on Monday. Davies has had an up and down season. Yost acknowledges that Davies has had command issues but knows that his stuff has always been there.
Tonight fans will see David DeJesus in center field and Mitch Maier in right field, a decision Yost made simply because DeJesus is playing great at that position and he wants Maier to become acclimated with all three outfield positions.
Yost said the two errors in last night’s game were not due to a lack of focus nor were they related to the team having time off over the All-Star Break. Instead, he believes the errors were aggressive mistakes and the result of the players trying to do too much in an effort to get off on the right foot in the second half of the season. Yost expects the team to be less anxious tonight and to play a little more controlled.
Under further review
The manager also discussed Coco Crisp’s controversial leadoff double in last night’s game. Yost said the reversed call definitely set a dangerous precedent for the contest. While he understands that human error is a natural part of the game and that players and coaches have to live with mistakes, he also believes players and teams should get what they earn, but not to the point that the game is stopped for review after every play.
Pena playing time
Yost also announced that Brayan Pena will see a little more action in the remainder of the season. Yost knows, however, that playing time is not a major concern of Pena’s. The manager described Pena as a great team player who understands and accepts his backup role behind Jason Kendall. Additionally, Yost claimed that Pena is the perfect guy for the backup catcher position and is always working hard and getting in as many reps as possible.
Gil Meche bounced back really well today and has plans to play catch, play long toss, and throw a side tomorrow. Should things go as planned, Yost hopes to send the pitcher out on a rehab assignment, probably to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, on Wednesday. According to Yost, Meche is back to feeling good and healthy, though his command is still a bit shaky.