Back in April, we asked Royals Review readers if they approved of the job manager Ned Yost was doing, and to no surprise, they approved in droves due to the club's hot April start. What was perhaps a bit surprising was how overwhelming the results were - 93% approved of the job Ned was doing, despite the fact that just last September,fans were calling for his job. Winning cures all, it appears.
The club has pretty much tread water since their hot start (19-18 since May 1), but still have the best record in the league. Ned looked like a genius when the club was hitting so well in April - especially after his controversial decision to put Mike Moustakas in the #2 hole was a huge success. But with the May offensive slump, there has been some second-guessing. There have been questions about his continued decision to put Alcides Escobar in the leadoff spot, about his decision to keep Alex Gordon in the #6 spot, his playing time for Salvador Perez, and his refusal to take Omar Infante out of the lineup.
On the pitching side, Ned has largely been uncontroversial, aided in large part to the best bullpen in baseball. The rotation has faltered this year, but that blame falls squarely on the pitchers themselves, with Ned juggling the rotation as best he can.
Ned captained a steady ship as the Royals endured national criticism for their confrontations with other teams and the team has probably come out closer because of it. He has stood by veterans Jeremy Guthrie, Alex Rios and Omar Infante, despite major struggles early on. He has been much more jovial with the media this year, sparring with beat writer Andy McCullough and siding with the fans in All-Star voting.
What do you think of the job Ned Yost is doing this year? Do you approve of his performance?