The KC Royals have lost 12 of their last 17 games, which isn’t exactly what most fans would call “finishing strong” down the stretch run of the season. However, Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost says he isn’t that concerned with his club’s lack of September success.
Yost told Fox Sports reporter Jeffrey Flanagan on Monday:
"“I just remember San Francisco last year coming into Kansas City in August, and they were in a slump and we just thrashed them,” Yost said. “And look where they ended up.”"
Ned Yost, however, did acknowledge that he would prefer to see his team play better than it has in recent weeks. When Flanagan asked if the KC Royals manager valued momentum going into the playoffs, Yost replied:
"“I’d be stupid to say I didn’t,” Yost said. “You can’t flip a switch. You want to be playing good baseball going into the playoffs and have everything settled."
The Kansas City Royals aren’t yet worried about missing the playoffs. With their magic number to win the American League Central division down to three with 12 games remaining, Ned Yost doesn’t have much reason to believe his team will fail make the post-season. But, how will they do once October comes?
That’s really anyone’s guess.
As Flanagan pointed out in his piece, the KC Royals split their last 20 games of 2014, before going on an 8-0 tear through the playoffs. Ned Yost said:
"“Now, your momentum varies day to day after that [in the postseason]. I think momentum gives you a better feeling of what’s going on.”"
However, what else can Ned Yost do besides express confidence in his team? The last thing players caught in a losing streak need to hear is their manager cracking under the pressure. No matter WHAT concerns Yost might carry into the Kansas City Royals clubhouse office at night, it’s not as if he can admit it to anyone.
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In this case, you can’t really rely on what the manager, or team, says. Instead, we need to look at what both the team, and manager, do.
In the last 10 days, Ned Yost installed Alex Gordon as the leadoff hitter while moving Alcides Escobar to the no. 9 slot. Yost has moved Danny Duffy to the pen and returned Jeremy Guthrie to the rotation. General manager Dayton Moore has called up reliever Mike Mariot from Omaha. And, Ned Yost has announced that Wade Davis will replace the ailing Greg Holland as closer for the rest of the season and through the playoffs.
That’s a lot of changes for a manager that isn’t worried about how his team is playing.
So, KC Royals fans, don’t pay attention to what Ned Yost says. His actions tell you he’s just as concerned about his team as you are.