Yost: 'You won’t see an opener this year'

August 3rd, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS -- As the Royals try to sort out their pitching staff these final two months, the question of whether they will experiment with an opener has occasionally come up.

Royals manager Ned Yost and his staff have pondered the idea, but Yost said it simply wouldn’t make sense for his team on several levels.

“Why is everyone so excited to see an opener?” Yost said. “It wouldn’t be effective for us. That’s why we haven’t done it. We’re not fools. If we thought it would be beneficial for us, we’d do it.

“We don’t have the depth on our staff. We’re not ready to do it. Plus, the guys that have done it in Triple-A, [Josh] Staumont and [Kyle] Zimmer are not even established here yet.”

Staumont has given up seven hits and five walks in 4 1/3 innings. Since being recalled from Triple-A, Zimmer has given up five hits, two walks and three runs in four-plus innings.

“It doesn’t make sense to try it just for the sake of trying it,” Yost said. “Anyone who suggests we try it for the sake of trying it is foolish, in my opinion.

“Hey, how about if we have everyone jump off a bridge? And then we’ll win 10 in a row? That’ll work.”

The one reliable reliever now in the bullpen is closer . But Yost right now is scrambling to find anyone else he can count on for outs late in the game.

“[Someone] wants Ian Kennedy to open?” Yost said. “That’s even stupider. I don’t have a seventh-inning guy right now or an eighth-inning guy. Who would pitch the ninth [if Kennedy pitches as an opener]?

“You won’t see an opener this year.”