Opinion

Royals struggling with patience at plate, Ned Yost says

Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer (35) flips his bat after striking out in front of New York Yankees catcher John Ryan Murphy (66) to end the eighth inning during Saturday's baseball game on May 16, 2015 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer (35) flips his bat after striking out in front of New York Yankees catcher John Ryan Murphy (66) to end the eighth inning during Saturday's baseball game on May 16, 2015 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. JSLEEZER@KCSTAR.COM

Among the positive developments for the Royals offense as it got off to a hot start was pitch recognition.

Already a team that strikes out the fewest times in the American League last year and this year, the Royals were aggressive hackers. But now they were taking more free passes, and the on-base percentage was rising.

Royals manager Ned Yost believes lost patience has become an issue and contributed to an offensive malaise that had the Royals scoring one run in five of their last seven games and owning a 1-6 mark in that span.

“You go back to when we were really doing good in April, we were taking our walks,” Yost said. “Our walks have declined, which means we’re probably swinging at a lot of pitches we can drive and doing damage with them. And we’ve faced good pitching.”

In April, the Royals averaged 2.4 walks per game, hit .306 and owned a .362 on-base percentage. In May and June entering Wednesday’s games against the Indians, the Royals averaged 1.9 walks per game, hit .249 and had a .294 OBP.

Every player has contributed. Each of the regulars had a higher batting average in April than in May/June.

“I just wish we could do a little better job of staggering our slumps,” Yost said. “Let’s have four guys hot and three not. But we always stick together as a team. We get hot as a team and cool off as a team.”

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @BlairKerkhoff.

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