"We talk about it every at-bat — ‘Hey, get a good pitch, Sal. Get a good at-bat,’" Yost said. "Then (his head) gets spinning. He’s trying to hit the proverbial five-run homer every time up. It doesn’t work.
"He’s anxious. Too anxious. Trying to do too much. Getting in a hurry … everyone is a better hitter when you’re more patient."
Even the veteran Royals hitters haven’t been immune to the funk. Billy Butler is 2 for his last 30 while Alex Gordon is hitting .180 in September with an abysmal .280 slugging percentage.
Yost thinks the excitement of the playoff chase is affecting some of his hitters.
"This time of year, and the guys are going through it for the first time. … It’s exciting for them," Yost said. "They want to do good, and they push and they push, but it takes you out of your game.
"You got to learn to just back off. Let the game come to you instead of trying to rush out and make it happen too quickly."
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There’s little Yost can do other than shuffling the batting order. Sitting Perez or Gordon isn’t an option.
"Sal is too important," Yost said. "Right now, with 11 games left … he’s got to go (every night). Gordy is the same way. There are times you want to give him a break, but he’s too valuable on the other side of the ball."
While the new batting order has solved the riddle at the top, Yost is still looking for his big guns to start firing.
"Esky has been better at the top, and Nori has been better, and Lorenzo has been better," Yost said, "so now we just have to get the middle of the order going."