With Kelvin Herrera making an appearance on this list, a theme is starting to form in these selections. All three players mentioned thus far have been senselessly supported by Yost when evidence to the contrary proves he needs to make a change.
Herrera was an All-Star in 2015 and 2016, which is not easy to do being a set-up man, and justifiably so. He was even better in 2014. Over those three seasons, he allowed a total of 11 home runs, including none in 2014; this season, Herrera has allowed nine dingers. His success is why the Kansas City Royals felt OK getting rid of Davis.
They thought they had a legitimate closer on the squad. It’s hard to blame Dayton Moore and Co. for thinking that. Davis had arm issues in 2016, while Herrera posted a ludicrous 86:12 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Everything changed when he assumed the closer’s role in 2017.
It’s a job not every great relief pitcher is able to pull off. Herrera is clearly a more effective set-up man. That became obvious rather early in the season, as Herrera often had to escape trouble in save opportunities and gave up runs in non-save situations.
Yost stuck with him, though. Even when Scott Alexander had to save him in the ninth inning in August, and when Alexander did it again the first day of September. Yost said he had replaced Herrera with a committee on Sept. 8, but that didn’t last long. He blew another save against Cleveland on Sept. 14 and has pitched just once since then.