The Royals will likely miss out on the post-season for the first time since 2013, but they stayed in contention until mid-September. The teams needs three more wins this week to secure their fourth consecutive winning season, the first time they have accomplished this feat since 1975-1980. It has certainly been a mixed bag for the Royals this season, however, with hot and cold streaks alternating in maddening fashion.
Ned Yost deserves some credit for keeping a steady ship and not panicking when the team went through cold spells, most notably their disastrous July. He was able to steer the team towards contention despite losing third baseman Mike Moustakas for much of the year, and losing Alex Gordon, Wade Davis, Lorenzo Cain, Luke Hochevar, Kris Medlen, and Jarrod Dyson for long stretches. He has kept the team in contention despite the second-worst offense in the league in runs scored. The team was projected to have a terrible rotation, and while the Royals had the fifth-worst ERA among league starting pitchers, it was good enough to keep the team above .500 much of the year.
Ned Yost April 2016 Approval Poll
Ned Yost June 2016 Approval Poll
On the other hand, Yost's patience can be outright stubbornness that can hurt the team. Ned kept Joakim Soria in high-leverage situations all season, far after it was clear Soria was not effective this season, very likely costing the team a chance at a Wild Card spot. He kept Alcides Escobar in the leadoff spot much of the year, despite another poor offensive performance by the shortstop. He stuck with Omar Infante at second base, despite declining defense and no bat. He has been criticized for how he has handled playing time for outfielders Paulo Orlando and Jarrod Dyson, not resting Salvador Perez, and sticking too long with struggling starter Chris Young.
Ned Yost has over 1,000 wins as a Major League manager, and a 547-546 record as Royals manager. This will be the first year of his Royals tenure that he did not improve the team over last year's record. He has two pennants and a championship ring and even won his second All-Star Game this year. He seems to have the respect of his team, his aggressive strategy on the bases has been a plus, and his bullpen is once again one of the best in the league, at least by ERA. However, he still has a lot of flaws, clinging to old school strategies, and the team seemed to fold at times with an overly aggressive strategy at the plate.
Do you approve of the job Ned Yost did this year?