Tag Archives: Ned Yost

Injury to pitcher Danny Duffy puts Royals’ rotation in a bind

Danny Duffy

The next time Danny Duffy takes the mound for the Kansas City Royals will be after the All-Star break.

In a season where little has gone right for the Royals, they lost their best starting pitcher with a Grade-One plus oblique strain.

Will May be better for the Kansas City Royals? They’re glad to be past April

Royals in May

Will May be better? It can’t be much worse than April was for the Royals.

When the Kansas City Royals hit a major league-worst .210 in April, you can expect a bad month. When you add to that a .270 on-base percentage and a .336 slugging percentage, also, all worst in the bigs, you know that is going to add up to a lot of losses.

When you score a big league-worst 63 runs, 24 fewer than the next club, it is going to be a long, long, month.

When your bullpen, once a strength, is 2-7 with a 5.67 ERA and with more blown saves, four, than saves, three, and you know it must be horrible month.

It was. Ending with a nine-game losing streak and the American League Central caboose.

Royals looking to get back to postseason before core players exit via free agency

Royals free agents

APRIL 2017 – Things were spinning so fast, even Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost had some fleeting doubts.

There was the death of Yordano “Ace” Ventura in late January just before the team reported to spring training. And the off-season forced trades of closer Wade Davis and speedster outfielder Jarrod Dyson, who are both eligible for free agency after this season, for property the Royals can control for a longer period.

“With everything we’ve had go on, losing Ventura, having to trade Wade, having to trade Dyson, I think there were some questions in my mind how good we were going to be,” Yost said.

Royals second base job is wide open

Royals 2nd Base

MARCH 2017 – There was no competition for the second base job in 2016, but it was still a big question mark in spring training for the Royals.

The Royals owed Omar Infante a lot of money and are still paying him this year. There was hope he could regain his glory days after hitting a puny .220 in 2015 and left off the World Series roster with an injury.

But with Infante struggling with a .239 average and no power, the Royals released him on June 21 last season, even though he still had 1 ½ years left on his contract.

This year the Royals have four candidates for the starting second base job, but none has a great deal of big league experience playing there.

Royals Bullpen will have a different look in 2017

Royals Bullpen

MARCH 2017 – Once upon a time, the Kansas City Royals bullpen had HDH, a dominant shut down trio of pitchers.

That would stand for Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland.

A couple of spring trainings ago, manager Ned Yost was told other teams were trying to replicate the Kansas City Royals’ success with similar bullpens.

“Good luck with that,” Yost replied on finding arms like Herrera, Davis and Holland to close out games.

Get ready for more Royals playoff baseball at Kauffman Stadium

Ben-Zobrist-Playoffs

SEPTEMBER 2015 – After 29 years between playoff appearances, the Kansas City Royals will be going back to the playoffs again this year.

Guaranteed.

They entered September, 30 games above .500, a 13-game bulge over the Minnesota Twins to win their first ever American League Central Division championship

Ben Zobrist take circuitous route to Kansas City

Royals-Zobrist

AUGUST 2015 – It has taken several years and a few turns and detours, but Ben Zobrist has made it to Kansas City.

Zobrist’s father, Tom, is a pastor in Eureka, Illinois and was a graduate of Calvary Bible College in Kansas City. Ben was going to attend his dad’s alma matter.

Ben, however, did like playing baseball, but had no college offers after high school. At the suggestion of his high school coach, he attended a senior showcase in Peoria, Illinois and received a scholarship from Olivet Nazarene University.

Royals get their ace in Johnny Cueto

Royals-Cueto

AUGUST 2015 – Rene Francisco, the Kansas City Royals vice-president/assistant general manager in charge of international operations, was a Los Angeles Dodgers scout in 2004 and eyeballed a teenage right-hander in the Dominican Republic.

He was unimpressed. He did not recommend the Dodgers sign him.

“I didn’t remember him,” Francisco said.

Although he was short, listed generously at 5-11, the Cincinnati Reds liked him enough to offer him a contract in 2004, signing him for $35,000.

“I know who he is now,” Francisco said.

The pitcher was and is Johnny Cueto, who the Royals acquired to be their ace in a trade with the Reds, sending them three left-handed top-tier prospects – Brandon Finnegan, who was the Royals’ 2014 first-round pick and is the first player to appear in the College World Series and the Major League World Series the same year; John Lamb and Cody Reed.

Ned Yost getting smarter with better players

Royals-Better-Players

JUNE 2015 – David Smale, a superb writer and a contributor to this magazine, arrived at the Kauffman Stadium press box about an hour before the May 24 game and asked jokingly if it was too early to apply for Kansas City Royals postseason media credentials.

At the time, the Royals were 28-14, the best start after 42 games in franchise history. The Royals were on pace to win 108 games at the quarter pole. They looked like they would run away with the division, like Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president.

Royals line up fairly set with Spring Training starting

Royals' Volquez

FEBRUARY 2015 – When the pitchers and catchers report Feb. 19 at Surprise, Arizona, expect little to no competition for jobs in the Kansas City Royals’ spring training.

Barring any injury, this roster has few vacancies outside of a backup infielder and a bullpen spot.

“It’s the mark of a good team,” manager Ned Yost said at the Royals’ FanFest. “There won’t be much competition. We’re pretty set.