Tag:Ned Yost
Posted on: April 2, 2011 1:07 pm
Edited on: April 2, 2011 1:10 pm
 

Royals using two-tiered bullpen

By Evan Brunell

SoriaNed Yost plans to deploy a two-tiered bullpen this season, sticking with a certain subset of pitchers if the game is close. While the tiers could change based on performance, Yost prefers set roles. This means one would have to pitch extremely well to be promoted out of the lower tier, while someone in the top tier would have to implode over a period of time to be removed from the role.

“I use a gauge of three runs or more,” Yost told the Kansas City Star. “If we’re within three runs, I’ll stick with one set of guys. When we get past three, I’ll generally go with the other guys.”

Closer Joakim Soria (pictured) is obviously at the top of the most important tier as closer. However, Yost is hoping to use Soria only in save situations and therein, only in one inning. That leaves high-pressure innings for Kanekoa Texeira, Aaron Crow, Tim Collins and Robinson Tejeda. It's not a bad list to have, but it wouldn't surprise many for Texeira to find himself in the lower tier as the season goes on.

That's more because of a certain name in the lower tier that will be pitching at the end of games before long if all goes right. Jeremy Jeffress made the team out of spring training and with a wicked fastball could quickly become one of the more feared relievers in the league. For now, however, he'll act as a reliever tasked with not letting the game get out of hand along with Sean O'Sullivan and Nate Adcock. Before long, Jeffress should move up the pecking order and Texeira appears the most likely to move down given he's a rather average arm.

Yost isn't alone in managers preferring a two-tiered structure, but it's not often you hear a manager clearly splitting the bullpen in two groups. Given Yost doesn't like to make immediate changes. Speaking about the lineup, he said he prefers to set a lineup and have it in place for an amount of time before making moves.

“I don’t like fluctuating a lineup from day to day,” Yost said, “because players start thinking, `I’ve got to go four for four in order to stay in my spot.’ It puts undue pressure on them, right?"

It's a valid point when it comes to the lineup, but it doesn't quite apply to the bullpen. After all, if Texeira has two straight lousy outings and Jeffress impresses in cleaning up the mess, will Yost really go to Texeira again the very next game in a high-leverage situation? As volatile bullpens can be, Yost needs to make sure he's flexible on a day-to-day situation with the bullpen. There's far less impact mentally on a reliever seeing a modified change in role until he gets situated as opposed to dropping someone briefly in the lineup.

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Posted on: February 24, 2011 2:20 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 3:00 pm
 

Is 2011 finally Gordon's year?

Back in 2005, Alex Gordon was the Royals' first-round draft pick. Only Justin Upton was off the board, as Gordon was the second overall pick. He was coming off a national player of the year season in college baseball. Then, in 2006, he was the minor league player of the year after hitting .325 with 29 home runs, 101 RBI, 111 runs and 22 steals. His OPS was a robust 1.016. All this made him the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball heading into the 2007 season.

Since then, things have been a relative flop.

His best season was 2008, when he went .260/.351/.432. He hit 16 home runs and had 35 doubles in 493 at-bats. He wasn't great, but those numbers certainly weren't awful. So he looked primed for a breakthrough in 2009, only he's badly regressed since then. He has battled injuries, suffered through a demotion to the minors, changed positions and failed to be productive at the big league level. 

His combined stats for 2009-10 show 123 games and 470 plate appearances. His line is .222/.319/.365.

The good news is that Gordon has refined his swing and, according to his hitting coach and manager, looks ready to have that breakout season (via Associated Press ).

"It's really huge for him," hitting coach Kevin Seitzer said of Gordon's swing. "His confidence right now is probably as high as it's ever been since I've been here. We’re getting him looser with his upper body, doing pretty much a solid month of drill work, just the tension out of his upper body and really focusing him being more consistent in his approach. His hands are working better. His swing is much better. Now it’s just going to be seeing how consistent he can be once the game starts."

"He's been putting on shows in batting practice," Royals manager Ned Yost added. "Granted it's only been batting practice, but his swing looks different. He looks much, much better. The real judge will be in the games when you’re making adjustments off competitive pitching. It looks like the work is paying off for him. It's just smoothing his swing out more than anything else, really just getting him short and just getting him to stay behind the ball and drive the ball."

He's also only 27, so while it seems like we've been waiting on Gordon for ages, he's still young enough to make good on his once seemingly unlimited promise.

Someone who comes to mind as a viable example is Phil Nevin. Granted, Nevin is viewed historically as a bit of a bust, considering he only made one All-Star Game after being the top overall draft pick, but he did have a solid six-year stint with the Padres from 1999-2004, where he compiled a 133 OPS-plus and 147 home runs. That stint started when he was 28.

This isn't to compare the two players or show Gordon won't break out until next season. It's simply an illustration that sometimes there's a delay before great talent shows up. Gordon could still easily go on to have a banner career.

And 2011 could be the new beginning.

-- Matt Snyder

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Posted on: October 11, 2010 6:31 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2010 10:33 am
 

R.I.P. Royals: Help is on the way

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Today: The Kansas City Royals

Oh Royals, through the 70s and 80s, the team was the model franchise. Since the turn of the century, the team's only been a punchline. That wasn't much different in 2010.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Yuniesky Betancourt Ewing Kauffman died in 1993. That's been the reason for the last 17 years of failure.

Oh, on the field? This year? Beyond Yuniesky Betancourt (pictured) being the team's shortstop? OK, Zack Greinke took a step back from his Cy Young 2009. Worse, he looked like another guy in a Royals uniform -- and that's not a good thing. Greinke went 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

How about Bruce Chen? Chen was 12-7 with a 4.17 ERA (the same as Greinke) -- but if you're looking long-term success, you're not betting on Chen.

Other positives? Joakim Soria may have been the best closer in the game, even if he didn't have too many games to close. Soria finished with 43 saves, a 1.78 ERA and 71 strikeouts and 16 walks in 65 2/3 innings.

The team also got rid of overpaid veterans like Kyle Farnsworth, Jose Guillen, Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel.

HELP ON THE WAY

Oh, is there ever.

Mike Moustakas The Royals have the deepest minor league system in the majors. Of Baseball America's 15-man Minor League All-Star Team, a full third were Royals.

The Royals are deep in position players (first baseman Eric Hosmer, catcher Wil Myers and third baseman Mike Moustakas (pictured)) and pitchers (lefty starters John Lamb and Mike Montgomery, reliever Tim Collins).

That's the good news, the bad news is with all this talent, it's still not ready for the big leagues in 2011, maybe 2012.

EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

Same as they always are in Kansas City -- grim. As noted, there's help on the way and maybe some of those guys can make their debut late in the season, but this won't be the season for the Royals to make a move. There is a brighter days ahead, but they aren't in the 10-day forecast.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

Don't raise ticket prices, because it's going to be another long year.

Greinke has started griping about not wanting to wait around for the Royals to get better, but he's still under contract through 2012. There's no reason to trade him this offseason, his value is lower than it should be and the asking price will be better in 2011 -- either at the trade deadline or after the season.

The Royals have already picked up the $6 million club option for outfielder David DeJesus, and he'll certainly bring something at the trade deadline next year.

There will certainly be plenty of suitors trying to pick up Soria, who is under team control through 2014. Listen, but unless bowled over for a deal, he's too valuable and under control for too long to move.

No fan is going to want to hear that they need patience, but there is actually hope for the Royals after so long without it. If half their prospects turn out as expected, they'll be the new Rays.

2011 PREDICTION

Same as it ever was. The Royals will be out of the picture by the All-Star break, and Ned Yost may even worry about his job. The only drama in September will be whether this team loses 100 games. But this time next year, there may be some excitement for 2012.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: August 1, 2010 3:09 pm
 

Meche may return this season

Gil Meche Gil Meche's 2010 -- and '11 -- may not be over.

Meche has elected not to have shoulder surgery, writes the Kansas City Star 's Daniel Paulling , and hopes to pitch in the bullpen in September.

"I took an option of not having it," Meche said. "My shoulder's beat up and everything. We're going a different option. The only way to play out my contract and contribute something to this organization, having surgery wasn't the way to go.

"For me, starting pitching is not an option for me. I'm going to pitch in the bullpen and see if my shoulder can handle it. As far as the endurance and stress, my shoulder can't do it."

Surgery on his right shoulder would have been his third and kept him from playing in 2011. Meche will be 32 in September and another shoulder surgery could have ended his career.

According to Paulling, the Royals want Meche to throw 20 and 40 pitches every other day in relief next month. Meche said he doesn't think starting will be an option for him in 2011, although manager Ned Yost said it was a possibility. Next season is the final year of his five-year, $55 million contract.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 1, 2010 12:56 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2010 6:49 pm
 

Marlins could keep Rodriguez at the helm


Edwin Rodriguez Saturday, the Royals committed to Ned Yost's and Florida's Edwin Rodriguez could be next.

The Marlins' manager has led the team to a 19-15 record since taking over for the fired Fredi Gonzalez and has Florida back in the playoff hunt.

The Miami Herald 's Barry Jackson writes Rodriguez is now a "strong candidate to remain manager beyond 2010, especially if the team closes strongly." The team nearly hired Bobby Valentine last month, but Rodriguez played the good soldier, kept his mouth shut and kept the team on track as the very public non-hiring  went on, which certainly didn't hurt his standing in the organization.

Florida made a couple of moves at the deadline, but nothing crippling, so the team could keep up its pace and finish around .500, which may be good enough to keep him. The Marlins are 53-51, 6 1/2 out of first in the National League East and the wild card.

Yost was given a two-year deal on Saturday. Yost is 34-37 since taking over for Trey Hillman.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Category: MLB
Posted on: July 31, 2010 4:53 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2010 5:03 pm
 

Royals extend Yost

Ned Yost Ned Yost will manage the Royals for the next two years -- or at least be paid for it.

When the Royals announced that Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth had been shipped to the Braves, the club also added that Yost received an extension for two years. The manager took over on May 13 from Trey Hillman, and has so far taken a 12-23 team and turned it into a 31-37 squad. Rany Jazayerli did a massive breakdown of Yost just six games into his tenure as manager and concluded that the case for Yost as manager was better than the cast against.

Yost previously skippered the Milwaukee Brewers for five seasons and parts of a sixth, amassing a total 457-502 record, never finishing higher than second place which he did so in 2007. The Brewers also finished second in 2008, when he was fired after posting a 83-67 record to start the season.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Category: MLB
Tags: Ned Yost, Royals
 
Posted on: July 5, 2010 10:51 pm
 

Royals ' Yost: 'We still think we're in it'

Ned Yost Stringent drug testing apparently hasn't made its way to the manager's office.

Royals manager Ned Yost said the way he looks at it, "we're a good week and a a day away from being (in) first place."

Really. The Kansas City Star 's Bob Dutton has more :
“Why can’t we make a run?” Yost demanded. “We’ve made a little bit of a run (by winning seven of 10 before Monday). If we keep winning series and keep playing the way that we’re playing, who knows what can happen?

“But if you think you’re out of it, you’re out of it. There’s not a guy in that clubhouse who thinks we’re out of it. I mean, we’re not even at the All-Star break. We’re only eight games out. There’s no telling what could happen.”

Yost recalled a year as a coach in Atlanta when the Braves trailed by 10 games at the All-Star break before rallying to win the National League East Division.

“We’re in a good spot,” he insisted. “We just have to continue doing what we’re doing and, slowly but surely, make up ground. We have to continue to pitch the way that we’ve pitched. We’ve got to continue doing what we’ve been doing.

“There are a lot of things that have to go right but, heck yeah, we still think we’re in it.”
The Royals are currently 36-46 and 8 1/2 games behind the American League Central leaders, the Detroit Tigers. The Twins and White Sox are also within a game of the Tigers.


-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Tags: Ned Yost, Royals
 
Posted on: June 17, 2010 11:13 pm
 

Umpires correct a bad call in Kansas City


The umpiring crew in Kansas City on Thursday night made an odd ruling in the fifth inning of the Royals-Astros game.

Under Rule 9.01 (c), umpires can pretty much do what they think is right in reversing a call. That rule was invoked when second-base umpire Mike Everitt admitted he missed a call and tried to right the wrong.

With one out and Mike Aviles on second, Yuniesky Betancourt hit a liner to shortstop Geoff Blum. Everitt signaled an out and Blum stepped on second to double up Aviles, who had advanced to third, ending the inning.

Royals manager Ned Yost went out to argue the call. After the umpires conferred, crew chief Tim McClelland ruled the ball wasn't caught, but Betancourt would likely have been thrown out at first. MLB.com's Dick Kaegel wrote Royals vice president Mike Swanson consulted with McClelland who said "to correct the missed call at second base" it was assumed Blum would have gotten Betancourt at first.

Aviles was awarded third and play was resumed with two outs. Scott Podsednik then did line out to Blum to end the inning.

Rule 9.01 (c) states: "Each umpire has authority to rule on any point not specifically covered in these rules.Each umpire has authority to rule on any point not specifically covered in these rules."

That rule was invoked earlier this season in a Reds-Dodgers game when a ball hit by pitcher Aaron Harang with bases loaded was ruled a catch, but umpires conferred, reversed the call and gave him a hit and an RBI. McClelland, coincidentally, was the crew chief in that game as well. After that game, both Reds manager Dusty Baker and Dodgers manager Joe Torre said they'd never seen a call like that made.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
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