Royals' Yost: 'This club is going to take off again. No doubt about it'
JUN 06, 2014 1:32p ET
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Royals sit two games under .500 at 29-31, only slightly better logistically than they were a year ago (28-32), but miles more confident.
At least according to manager Ned Yost.
"Well, yeah, I feel better now," Yost said. "I was like them (the players) last year: I kept thinking, 'Are we ever going to do anything? Ever?'
"My lowest point was at the All-Star break. We had crawled back from a bad May and we were within one game of .500 and then we lose five straight (before the All-Star break). That put us right back to six games under .500 and I was like, 'Man ....'
"But we came back from the All-Star break and we took off. This club is going to take off again. No doubt about it."
The Royals recently completed a tough road trip that they navigated quite well, going 4-2. Add to that a split with the Cardinals at home in a two-game set, and Yost senses a bit of momentum.
But Yost also knows his club is not quite there yet. The offense has lingering issues, roles in the bullpen still must be defined and two young starters (Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura) are still finding their way.
"We need to get the bullpen straightened out," Yost said. "It's just been a little more inconsistent than I would like. Some of that has been from the workload lately.
"We've got two young pitchers in the rotation that we didn't have last year in Duffy and Ventura that are capable of reeling off five or six straight wins. I think (Jeremy) Guthrie, Vargy (Jason Vargas) and Shieldsy (James Shields) have been great to spectacular.
"And we haven't even come close to our offensive capabilities."
Like last year, though, the Royals are in a familiar position at this point in the season -- grinding their way back toward .500. One element is always looming: Another losing spell could sink them well below .500, and it could take weeks to climb out of the hole.
A fear is there, though Yost won't concede that.
"I don't think about that," he said. "I don't sense that.
"There's always a concern. Until you get over .500 and start stepping past that, it's always a concern. That game (Wednesday) night was a big game for us. We win that and we're one under .500 instead of three under.
"If Esky hits the ball three feet another direction, we win and we're one under at that point."
For now, the message from Yost is simple: Stay focused on the present and don't peek too much at the standings or the record.
"You have to come in and win series," he said. "We played Toronto four and we won two of four. Then we moved on to St. Louis (and swept the Cardinals). You just try to win each series and get your way back.
"It's like Moose (Mike Moustakas). Moose can't look at the scoreboard anymore. He can't look at that .150. He just has to go up there and keep hitting and then suddenly one day he'll be hitting .220 or .230 or .240.
"It's just staying focused on each game but to look long-range at winning each series. And then the wins start adding up."
Yost said the confidence level of his troops has not wavered.
"They have that experience knowing about last year and that they went through it and got out of it," he said. "They all have that same confidence that 'Hey, we've been through this before. We'll figure out a way to get out of it again.' "