Tag Archives: Ned Yost

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.