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Inside Ned Yost’s head

Apr 2, 2014, 7:35 PM EDT

Ned Yost and his flexible thumb Getty Images

Have you ever wondered what Royals manager Ned Yost is thinking when he puts in pinch-runner after pinch-runner, rather than maybe hitting for the guy who was arguably the league’s worst hitter last year?

Well, you’re in luck.

According to the Kansas City Star’s Andy McCullough, here is what Yost replied when asked why he didn’t hit for Alcides Escobar with the tying run on second and two outs in the eighth inning in Wednesday’s game against the Tigers.

“Until these guys show trends, that’s when you start doing it,” Yost said. “It’s way too early to start getting in guys’ heads about pinch-hitting. Especially when you’re struggling as a team offensively. We were going to pinch-hit for Escobar in the ninth inning, if it came up that the score was still 1-0, a chance to hit a home run. But not in that situation.”

So, remember, it’s way too early to get into the head of a bad hitter by hitting for him in the eighth inning of game two, but it’s just fine to do it in the ninth inning of game two, except by that time you’ve run through your entire bench anyway because you’ve pinch-ran for Salvador Perez, Omar Infante and Billy Butler.
  1. Kevin Gillman - Apr 2, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    It’s because Chris Getz isn’t with the Royals anymore.

  2. Detroit Michael - Apr 2, 2014 at 7:49 PM

    At this point, it’s on Dayton Moore for continuing to retain Ned Yost. This isn’t the first time that he’s been revealed to be something less than a tactical wizard.

  3. sportsdrenched - Apr 2, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    This is why the Royals can’t have nice things. Ned and the front office have no idea which statistics are useful, and which ones aren’t.

    If you’re supposed to lose 60 games, and win 60 games in a season; the Royals have already burned 2 of the 42 that could have gone either way. In both games Ned has made some questionable decisions regarding the bullpen. Then there is his bench management today. If the Royals make the playoffs this year, it will be despite Ned, not because of him.

    • boknowswalkingonwalls - Apr 3, 2014 at 4:25 AM

      Well said.

    • tedwmoore - Apr 3, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      I agree about Yost in general, but disagree about game one. Shields gives up a triple and then walks a dude in the 7th inning with one out and the Royals up two runs. Do not remember Shields’ pitches thrown, but do not think it was very high, and at any rate do not remember anyone suggesting that Shields should have been taken out before giving up the triple.

      Yost brings Crow in to get two outs, which is reasonable, particularly with two righties due up. Crow gets the strikeout, but the pitch bounces wild and all runners advance, scoring a run. And then what, should Yost have immediately yanked Crow? Crow had pitched well, the result was unfortunate. Then of course Crow gives up the tying run on another triple.

      It happens.

      Then you have Wade Davis, who has been fantastic in relief, pitching the 9th, with Holland coming in once there is some trouble. Again, I love to dump on Yost, but this was hardly his fault. He probably had the right guys in there, they just did not execute.

  4. drunkhistorian - Apr 2, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    Sure seems like if the Royals want to have a chance to compete they need to get rid of Yost ASAP. Don’t see it happening though so enjoy October at home K.C.

  5. glennsyank13 - Apr 2, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Ah good old Ned. Good for young players developing, but in terms of turning the corner and getting wins out of those players, not going to happen.

  6. bkool37 - Apr 2, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    I won’t ever understand why they ran Bonafacio out of town when he should be in competition for the SS job. If Escobar wasn’t getting it done they could have gone to EB but now they are stuck. Did I mention EB went 4 for 4 in his first Cubs game.

    • chunkala - Apr 2, 2014 at 10:23 PM

      But he was 4 for 4 in NL, doesn’t count.

    • sportsdrenched - Apr 3, 2014 at 9:24 AM

      Let’s talk about Bonafacio win mid July. We went through this with Phil Humber. He was terrible with the Royals. He uncorks a perfect game and all the second guessers are on Dayton Moore for not keeping him around. Not even a season later he can barely hang in the Astros Rotation.

      It’s one of the decision the front office got right. We’ll see what Bonafacio does over the rest of the season.

  7. ottawabrave91 - Apr 2, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    I am almost 30 years old and I have never seen my hometown royals in the playoffs. and I haven’t seen the chiefs win a playoff game since I was in grade school. at least we have fountains or whatever

  8. Tyree Studio - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Every move Yost makes is going to be put under the microscope right now. He’s earned that with his past. I agree with SportsDrenched, if they win this year it will be in spite of Yost, not because of him.

    I think Escobar hit yesterday because Yost has gone public several times in the media about how Escobar WILL eventually hit. Now it’s not just the game on the line it’s Yost’s rep. I don’t see it. He’s had similar comments about Moose. Those are not 2 guys I’d want to stake my reputation on, but I’m not DM’s hunting & fishing buddy.

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