Opinion

Ned Yost says Royals pitchers must adjust to mound

Major League Baseball’s rule book contains a diagram and dimensions for the height and slope of the pitcher’s mound, but there are no specifications for bullpens.

Still, even if the height of the visitor’s bullpen mound at Rogers Center is lower than the regulation mound on the center of the diamond, Royals manager Ned Yost said that’s a problem his pitchers must overcome.

“I don’t think Kris Medlen had any trouble adjusting,” he said on Tuesday before Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. “It was Johnny (Cueto) that had trouble adjusting to it.”

Cueto was rocked for seven runs before recording a seventh out Monday as the Blue Jays beat the Royals 11-8 in Game 3. After the game, Cueto said through interpreter and Royals catching coach Pedro Grifol that he felt great in the bullpen but had trouble keeping the ball down in the game.

“It’s a different mound, the mounds in the bullpen are a little flat, the mounds here are really high, but that’s not an excuse. That’s not where he’s hanging his game on,” Cueto said through Grifol. “They just beat him today, this is not an excuse, he’s just going to move forward.”

Medlen relieved Cueto and allowed one inherited runner to score on a two-run homer by Josh Donaldson but only surrendered one more run — a solo shot by Ryan Goins — in five innings, striking out six.

“Those were all adjustments that you have to make if you’re going to be successful,” Yost said.

Chris Fickett: 816-234-4354, @ChrisFickett

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