Having watched Yost in Milwaukee for years, the idea that he doesn’t believe in floating lineups is… well… a total lie. Maybe he’s learned from his time in Milwaukee, but I doubt it.
He consistently tried to play the “hot hand” even against the wrong hands of platoons, and once famously told the Brewers owner (when he was questioned why righty Kevin Mench was starting against a RHP instead of Geoff Jenkins)… “Because he’s hitting about .350.”
Comment by TX Ball Scout — September 11, 2012 @ 8:46 am
Before anyone starts by criticizing Yost for some of his managerial decisions, just realize we are fortunate that he agreed to do this interview and we would like to continue to have these interviews without interviewees stopping for lack of appreciation.
Comment by Captismo — September 11, 2012 @ 8:47 am
I think most of the things he says make some sense.
“We don’t have a prototypical leadoff hitter. [Jarrod] Dyson has a lot of speed, so if he gets on, he can steal second, he can steal third. And he can steal the tough base. He can do it when guys know that he’s going to run. He can steal on a pitchout. But as far as on-base percentage, he doesn’t walk enough and he hits too many balls in the air to utilize his speed. That said, right now he and [Lorenzo] Cain fit the bill at number one.”
So….why do Dyson and Cain fit the bill at number one? Because they are fast, and he can’t get it out of his 1970’s head that a fast guy has to lead off.
Comment by Rufus R. Jones — September 11, 2012 @ 9:57 am
It doesn’t really take sabermetrics to explain it, either, does it?
So he can steal, but doesn’t get on all that often? Try batting him in front of a poor singles hitter (i.e. at 7 or 8) so that he can score from 2nd when the two of them manage to string together back-to-back singles. Don’t waste your sluggers’ power by having someone who doesn’t get on base enough in front of them.
Comment by Aaron (UK) — September 11, 2012 @ 10:16 am
Kind of a brutal review from the bleachers of Yost and his managing style. I thought his analysis was pretty logical and well thought out. I disagree on who his best power hitter will be, I think that is Moustakas. Butler has taken a long time to develop and will continue to be good and may hit for better average, but I think Moustakas will have quite a bit higher HR total over his career.
With Dyson and Cain, speed is what you want at the top of the order…as long as there is a high OBP that goes with it, which he noted. He may be hoping plate discipline and the high OBP is developed with these two young players.
Comment by StatsNut83 — September 11, 2012 @ 10:21 am
This could just as well be Ron Gardenhire, who readers might recall, has gotten historically bad production out of his 2 hole for quite a while. There was a stretch last year where Gardy’s 2 hole had a worse OPS than the majority of teams in the NL 9 spot. Oh, but he (Casilla, Tolbert, whoever) could sure bunt!
Comment by payroll — September 11, 2012 @ 10:25 am
This is hilarious. In almost every paragraph he directly contradicts something he JUST said. What is he talking about? lol
Comment by Eminor3rd — September 11, 2012 @ 10:30 am
I’ve always thought that in a manager’s mind, the prototypical leadoff hitter has three characteristics: 1) Good at getting on base, 2) speed, and 3) lacks power.
The problem is that many managers will settle for batting a guy leadoff if he has two of those three characteristics, even if the characteristic they lack is #1.
That’s just nuts.
Comment by Dirtbag — September 11, 2012 @ 10:41 am
Escobar has the third-highest OBP on the team among players with 250 or more PAs, and it is 16 points higher than league average.
There is absolutely no reason to need speed at the top of the order, StatsNut. If anything, as “The Book” pointed out, you need speed toward the bottom of the order where your singles hitters are. It doesn’t matter how fast one runs home on a homer and you don’t want guys getting thrown out in front of your best hitters anyway. Dyson and/or Cain should be hitting around 6th, not 1st.
Umm….Yost is an idiot. He bunts way to early and way to much, continues to play Francoeur, bullpen utilization and SP decision making is idiotic, etc. Oh, and yes, he’s used about 30 different lineups this year.
This article was a good read (and I’ve never had any problems with the way Yost puts his lineup together), but it was like asking the captain of the sinking Titanic what kind of scotch is available on the top deck. Until KC figures out that having the “ace” of your staff collapse 3 out of every 4 starts isn’t going to cut it, there is no point to any of it.
Comment by KCDaveInLA — September 11, 2012 @ 1:15 pm
I didn’t say most of the things he DOES make sense. I agree re. the bunting. The Frenchy thing is at least as much on Dayton Moore, in my view.
Well, he probably does have the #4 and #5 spots right. Truth be told, he just doesn’t have enough hitters to fill in quality players at 1-2-3. Gordon’s his best leadoff hitter AND best #3 hitter until Hoz or Tacos gets it together.
Comment by tmorgan1970 — September 11, 2012 @ 4:23 pm
I think that every manager, GM, owner and fan would like to be able to create a lineup, “so that there aren’t any holes.” But that ideal lineup has nothing to do with lineup construction and everything to do with roster construction. Unless you create holes by consistently starting guys who should be defensive subs, I guess. But even there roster construction can overcome your managers worst tendencies!
Comment by Jake Squid — September 11, 2012 @ 5:25 pm
It’s going to be more than 30 lineups by far, and every other manager does the same thing.
Comment by hawkinscm — September 11, 2012 @ 5:54 pm
Correct, having power for a leadoff hitter will only make Yost want to move him down in the order. However, Yost believes two other things that contradict his practice. He wants a little better hitter in the 9 hole (so there is better chance for someone to be on base when #1 comes up again) and he very much believes that if you score first, you have a better chance of winning (the numbers bear that out for obvious reasons). I won’t comment on the mistake in logic for the scoring first thing, but only that it is standard for Yost to contradict himself. If you want to know what his philosophies are, it is best to observe what he does, not what he says.
Comment by hawkinscm — September 11, 2012 @ 5:59 pm
I think there is a lot of “this is our goal for how we want this player to develop….” and a lot of with ideal personnel “this is what we would do.” I think he did a great job explaining where their current players are at, what skill set they think they have and how they want them to develop into a certain player, while also including how they’re currently handling things. Good article and interview. As a Sox fan the team that really scares me in the AL Central are the Royals right now (as far as in years to come)…they have TONS of young talent and if half of them develop how they want it and they bring in some veteran leadership it could be scary.
Comment by StatsNut83 — September 11, 2012 @ 9:05 pm
I would like to preface this by saying that Yost almost certainly believes that a lowered OBP Gordon in the 3 hole is better (that’s a whole issue in and of itself), but he also enjoys giving inane answers in lengthy post game interviews.
Comment by ChrisCEIT — September 12, 2012 @ 3:02 pm