Results tagged ‘ Ned Yost ’
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.
Give me a break
In response to questions regarding the team’s recent time off, Yost said that every team looks forward to the All-Star break — it’s kind of a destination point in the season and allows the players to step back and recharge. Yost doesn’t think the break will have any effect on hot players like David DeJesus. He believes players like DeJesus simply come to play everyday and their success is really due to their mechanics and ability to see the ball well.
Back to the basics
Yost provided a brief update on pitcher Gil Meche who was recently added to the 60-day disabled list. The manager announced that Meche threw about 18 pitches today. According to Yost, Meche’s mechanics were a little jerky, but Yost didn’t show much concern, saying that the pitcher just needs to get back in his rhythm.
Bringin’ the heat
Though others seemed a bit uncomfortable in the summer heat, Yost doesn’t “sweat” it, saying this is exactly what is was like when he coached in Georgia. “You get used to it,” he said.
Kicking and screaming
Yost expects tonight’s matchup between premier pitchers Jake Peavy and Zack Greinke to be interesting for everyone. Yost described Peavy as a fearless competitor and admitted he loves watching Peavy on the mound, especially when the pitcher screams and yells at himself.
Give ’em a break
The Royals will again have a different starting lineup in tonight’s game. Yost said the changes were not made because of injuries, but rather were meant to give players rest from the summer heat. He added that tonight will be the first day of rest for outfielder David DeJesus since his son was born on May 25.
Things are looking up
Yost also discussed the play of the infield, saying that it has been good and is only getting better. He credits Eddie Rodriguez with helping develop Mike Aviles’ skills at second base. Additionally, Yost has been impressed with the corners, stating that Billy Butler has done great at first and Alberto Callaspo has been fantastic at third.
It’s not over ’til it’s over
So far this season, the Royals have scored 28 times with two outs and no runners on. According to Yost, this statistic is a good indication of the offense’s attitude and understanding that an inning isn’t over until there are three outs. Yost takes no credit for the headstrong attitude, but instead says it is just a mindset ingrained in the players themselves.
Hoping for a Banny repeat
In tonight’s game vs. the White Sox, Yost hopes to see starting pitcher Brian Bannister do what he did in his last outing against the Nationals when he went 6.0 innings, giving up five hits and no runs. Yost believes Bannister will have another successful start if he keeps the ball down, which he can do very well with his cutting fastball and sinking changeup.
Wilson Betemit is back in the lineup for the second time in three games, a move Yost made because of Betemit’s hot bat and power potential. Not in the lineup for the third straight contest is Mitch Maier, but Yost had nothing but positive things to say about the outfielder.
Although Yost is quite aware that Chicago is playing excellent baseball and has won 11 of its last 12 games, he said he doesn’t view any team as more or less of a challenge. He added that the Royals think they’re playing pretty good as well, so tonight’s contest should just be a chance to compete against a hot team.
The bullpen is continuing to do a nice job without suffering any major setbacks. Yost believes the success is in large part due to the relievers knowing their roles and knowing at what point they may enter the game, which helps them get mentally prepared. Since Yost has taken over as manager, relievers have thrown off a mound every day instead of just playing catch or throwing off flat ground. Yost believes making the change was a no-brainer because the pitchers can now practice their craft everyday and work on their mechanics and control in a game-like situation. He believes Robinson Tejeda’s success is a prime example of the positive results the change was meant to yield. Yost added that the players don’t overexert themselves, but rather just get loose for the game.
Yost likes what he sees when it comes to Anthony Lerew’s ability to command his changeup and keep hitters off balance. He also likes Lerew’s ability to go deep into games and keep the team in contests.
For tonight’s game, Yost is expecting Mark Buehrle to not mess around and come right at hitters. Yost said Buehrle is a true pitcher who has a great tempo and allows his teammates to work by not trying to strike every batter out. Yost believes the key for the Royals is to be patiently aggressive, meaning he wants players to wait for their pitch and jump all over it when it comes. Also, he wants his players to maintain their own rhythm rather than letting the speedy Buehrle dictate it for them.
The word on Bruce
Yost believes today’s starting pitcher Bruce Chen has done a nice job in 2010 thus far. Chen’s secret to success hasn’t just been his command, but also the way he keeps hitters off balance and changes speeds and eye levels. Yost argues that there’s a difference between someone who stands on the mound and throws and someone who is a pitcher, and he believes Chen is definitely the latter.
A work in progress
Although Yost worked for the organization before taking over the manager position, he said it still takes time, a couple weeks to a month, to get to know players on a personal level and figure out what makes them tick. He said he has tried to really study and watch players in order to find out what they focus on and don’t focus on. In general, Yost takes a mixed approach when it comes to treatment of his players. He claimed that while most rules apply to everyone, he still tries to treat everyone as individuals. The main rule he is concerned with is simply maintaining a high standard of play. The manager expects everyone to give all they have each day.
Feeling at home
Yost had nothing but positive things to say about his experience with the Royals. He thinks he has a great group of players who have the desire to win, and he is also very fond of Kansas City and Kauffman Stadium.
Take it from media relations intern Hillary who was dripping after two minutes into this interview…it’s hot! Yost said that unlike the old days when he was a player, the team is taking valuable precautions to stay healthy in this summer heat, such as by eating right and staying hydrated. In particular, Yost is helping catcher Jason Kendall take special precautions by giving him a day’s rest. Though Kendall nearly always wants to play, Yost is keeping the big picture in mind so that Kendall will be strong and healthy late in the season. Members of the media asked when Jose Guillen might have a day off, but Yost responded that he doesn’t want to remove Guillen from the lineup because he is currently on a 19-game hitting streak, the longest of his career.
With Kendall out of today’s lineup, second baseman Mike Aviles will move into the two-hole. Yost knows that there is a lot more to a successful two-hole hitter than what shows up in the box score. Rather than only looking at hits, the manager looks for someone who can move runners and hit ground balls when needed.