Yost happy with progress of young Royals
Ned Yost is asking long-suffering Kansas City Royals fans to
wait a little longer.
In spite of their league-worst 36-52 record going into Friday
night’s game against Detroit, the manager feels certain better days
”You look at our club and look where we are in terms of our
defense as a whole, our base running as a whole, our bullpen, our
starting pitching and our base running, and we’ve made a lot of
progress,” said Yost, who’s halfway through his first full season
as KC manager. ”We just have to find ways to get over that hump,
and experience will help that a lot.”
Yost points to the development of young position players such as
first baseman Eric Hosmer, shortstop Alcides Escobar and third
baseman Mike Moustakas as sure signs that Kansas City’s slow,
painstaking program of building from the bottom up is bearing
Also encouraging is rookie left-hander Danny Duffy, who went six
strong innings in a 3-1 loss to the Tigers on Thursday night in his
10th major league start.
Hosmer, who was tearing up Triple-A pitching before he was
called up this year from Triple-A, is hitting .319 in Kauffman
Stadium and hit .333 on the team’s most recent road trip.
Moustakas, called up on June 10, drove in the Royals’ lone run
on Thursday night with an infield out but also failed in two key
situations with runners in scoring positions. Each time, he was
facing a pitcher he’d never seen before.
”A base hit there and we win the ballgame,” Yost said. ”But
there’s going to come a time when we’re going to pick those base
hits up and we’re going to win those ballgames, those close games.
We’ve played a lot of one-run and two-run games. We’re close.
Things happen fast, especially when you get close. Hopefully, we
will turn the corner little bit in the second half and start making
some forward progress in the win-loss record. But where we are as a
team today, we’re better than we were last year in my opinion and
continuing to get better each week.”
Yost was in Milwaukee and Atlanta when those organizations made
similar transitions and became competitive. He’s seen what happens
when victory-starved organizations start to lose patience.
”You can’t allow passion to overcome your patience. That’s the
biggest mistake you’re going to make in this type of deal. When you
start to get frustrated and start to make moves out of desperation
because you’re not winning games right now, it’s a mistake. I told
our coaches at the beginning of the year this is going to be the
toughest year for us because we’re going to show signs and there
will be times when we struggle and it’s going to be frustrating
because we’re going to really start to take strides forward.”
The Royals have not made the postseason since winning the World
Series in 1985 and the prospect of another 90-loss season has upset
”But we can’t lose sight of what the big picture is and what
we’re going to accomplish because when we get to the point where we
can compete we’re going to compete for an extended time, not one
season. I’m talking four, five seasons in a row. But we have to get
to that point and you don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the
future by doing something crazy right now.”