Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Royals: Can Ned Yost Handle the Pressure of a Historic September

This may be a bit of a rant leftover from Saturday night, however, it is not the only time I have questioned Ned Yost‘s moves. Like everyone else, I am a little bit skeptical of Ned Yost’s ability to handle the pressure of a pennant race, especially after Saturday’s 3-2 extra inning loss to the Indians in front of a packed Kauffman Stadium.

I am not blaming the entire loss on Ned Yost, because any manager is going to have a hard time overcoming his team leaving 16 men on base and a dreadful 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position. Some of the worst situational hitting ever displayed at Kauffman Stadium was seen on Saturday night.

However, even with the poor offensive display, the Royals had every opportunity to still win it in the 11th when Yost opted to bring 42-year old, left-handed veteran, Scott Downs, into the game.

I questioned this move as soon as I saw Downs warming up in the bullpen. How many other Major League managers would put Downs in the game in that situation with a month left of a franchise’s best season in 29 years? I’m going to assume not many.

With a month left of the regular season, baseball rules go out the window. A manager is supposed to pitch his best pitchers when they need to be pitched. It is the players’ job to grind through the workload until the end of the season.

This is not the only time that a city has questioned Ned Yost’s managerial moves late in a season. That worries me. Milwaukee thought his moves were so bad that they opted to fire him with two weeks left in the 2008 regular season when they right where the Royals are now- in the thick of a playoff hunt. After Saturday night, Royals fans got a taste of what Milwaukee fans were seeing that year.

This is not the only thing I do not like about Yost as of now. I dislike his inability to manage for the playoffs. With a month left of the regular season, baseball rules go out the window. A manager is supposed to pitch his best pitchers when they need to be pitched. It is the players’ job to grind through the workload until the end of the season.

Ned Yost’s batting orders are also very suspect as well. For instance, when the Royals were winning, no one argued too much about Omar Infante still batting second. However, after a 4-game skid, of course you are going to have people arguing that no matter how much the Royals are paying him, he should not be batting second.

One move that Yost could make to prove to me that he is ready to manage for the playoffs is moving to a 4-man rotation. It makes sense. Jeremy Guthrie has been the Royals worst starter in 2014 by far. But he has done one thing very well; ate up innings. And with the recent DFA of our former long-relief man, Bruce Chen, there seems to be a vacancy in the bullpen where Guthrie would seemingly fit perfectly.

A 4-game skid is nothing to worry about. Especially since the Royals still control sole-possession of first place. However, it is time to make bold moves; this is the pennant race.

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Tags: Jeremy Guthrie Kansas City Royals Ned Yost Royals Scott Downs

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