KANSAS CITY -- Royals manager Ned Yost, soon to be retired, certainly has made it clear he is fond of his coaching staff.
But Yost, who was honored during a pregame ceremony prior to the series opener against the Twins on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium, has reiterated all week that he doesn’t want to show any favoritism toward anyone who could be a possible successor. It is believed that the Royals will consider catching coach Pedro Grifol, bench coach Dale Sveum and bullpen coach Vance Wilson as candidates to be the club's next manager.
Sveum succeeded Yost in Milwaukee in 2008 and he managed the Brewers’ final 12 games that season. He then managed the Cubs for two seasons in 2012 and '13.
Grifol has interviewed for managerial openings with the Astros and Orioles in the past.
“I just don’t know,” Yost said. “I think Pedro needs to manage somewhere. [But] I don’t want to get involved in that situation.”
Mike Matheny, a special assistant to general manager Dayton Moore, also is expected to receive consideration.
Game time change
Due to expected heavy rains in Kansas City on Saturday night, Saturday’s game time has been moved from 6:15 p.m. CT to 1:15 p.m.
On the rise
Yost was asked what young players made the biggest leap this season:
“I’ve answered that question so many times I should have it tattooed on my head,” Yost joked. “[Adalberto] Mondesi, [Hunter] Dozier, [Jorge] Soler, Nicky Lopez, [Ryan] McBroom. They all stand out. They all look like they will move forward with us in the future. And it’s up to them to see if they keep improving and continue to move forward.”
Yost also mentioned Ryan O’Hearn, Bubba Starling and Brett Phillips.
“But they got to hit,” Yost said. “Got to hit. This is not rocket science.”
As for young pitchers who made an impression, Yost mentioned right-handers Glenn Sparkman and Scott Barlow.
“But it’s going to be interesting to see if guys can start to command their pitches,” Yost said. “Can they take their game to the next level? You have to command the ball at this level. And you have to start with the fastball. It takes repetition. It’s a lot of work.”