Results tagged ‘ Ned Yost ’
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.
Short and Sweet
On a day when it’s actually nice to be outside for more than five minutes, the media did not have many questions to ask during Ned Yost’s pregame interview. He did discuss Gil Meche’s potential return to the mound, saying the former starter could fit into the bullpen, which would help limit his shoulder problems. Yost also said Meche is getting closer to a rehab assignment after a 30-pitch session this morning, if the club chooses to go that route. When asked about the 2011 season for Meche, Yost said that as of today, he’d be leaning toward having the right-hander pitch as a reliever.
The manager also briefly discussed Kila Ka’aihue’s performance, saying he can’t make a judgment about Ka’aihue because the rookie is still settling in and adjusting to new pitchers and a new overall experience.
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.