There is something strange going on inside of Kauffman Stadium. The Royals haven’t played great baseball this year and the biggest concern coming into the season was starting pitching. Yet surprisingly, the Royals have been saved by their pitching staff recently and doomed by their lack of offense.
I am an avid listener of some local sports radio stations and I constantly hear callers complaining about Royals manager Ned Yost. The complaints range from a simple lineup formation to his knack for leaving in pitchers too long or not long enough. Before I really dive into this, I will inform you that I am not Ned’s biggest fan. I have often scratched my head at some of his decisions.
I want to start off with the curious case of Nate Adcock, whom the Royals just love sending back and forth from Omaha to Kansas City. There are currently only 4 pitchers in the Royals bullpen with better ERA’s than Adcock (Herrera, Crow, Mijares, Broxton). Yet for some reason management doesn’t believe he deserves a permanent spot in the pen. They elect to bring up guys like Roman Colon and Luis Coleman who have struggled in Omaha, only to have Yost bring them in during pressure situations and watch them self-destruct. Adcock gave up 1 ER in back to back 5 IP games and got sent back down while Roman Colon has given up 6 ER in 8 IP and manages to keep a roster spot. Ned Yost has voiced his concern about our bullpen being stretched thin. However, he seems fine allowing an overworked Tim Collins to continue to pitch after being un-Collins like in yesterday’s meltdown (1.2 IP, 5 R, 3BB, 0 K) against St. Louis; for the sake of saving his pen. I completely understand needing fresh arms, but some of our better talent is waiting down in Omaha while Ned Yost continues to make bad decisions that cost the team.
The most obvious flaw in Ned’s major league management is his lineups, which are just honestly unbelievable at times. Take yesterday for example, Yuniesky Betancourt was sat due to his lack of range on defense. Okay I buy that, but Yuni’s bat has been hot lately. That leads me to wonder how Yost could have made Bryan Pena the DH instead of Yuni, absolutely mind numbing. I consistently hear that it’s not Ned’s fault, the hitters need to hit. That is absolutely true, but it is the manager’s job to put his team in the best position to succeed. Ned is clearly having problems doing that. He moved a struggling Eric Hosmer to the cleanup position; he’s bounced around Jeff Francoeur from cleanup to 5th. He is trying to shake things up to try and bring life to an inept offense but does anyone look at how this team is positioned?
If Mike Moustakas is one of the Royals better hitters, why is he continuously batting under guys who can’t get on base?
Why is Jeff Francoeur hitting in the 5 hole with only 20 RBIs to his name?
Alcides Escobar is hitting 8th or 9th and has one of the highest averages on the team.
There are obviously other factors, I’m not questioning that. I mean Jarrod Dyson has 7 RBI’s through 177 ABS while freshly activated Salvador Perez has 3 RBIs with only 8 ABS. I know at the end of the day you blame the hitters, but Ned is one head scratching lineup away from me calling for his head.
Is Ned’s management hurting this team even more?