It took eight pitchers to get a 4-3 win in 14 innings against the White Sox on Wednesday. And while the Royals’ slow, steady battle to pull out a win through those 14 innings were important, it has put the Royals in a bit of a jam on the mound.
For now, that 14-inning game has left the Royals without a starting pitcher for Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Twins.
“We’re still discussing our options,” Ned Yost said. “I’ve got a couple of guys in mind.”
Chris Young, Brian Flynn, Dillon Gee. Those are the three names Yost brought up in different instances for the Saturday start. All three were used in some capacity in Wednesday’s game: Flynn went one-third inning, Young went a full inning, and eventually Gee closed the game with two scoreless innings and a win.
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Gee said even after his two innings he could pitch on Saturday.
But for now Yost is leaving options open. He was non-committal when asked if Saturday’s starter was on the current roster.
“We’re not totally past Gee coming back,” Yost said. “He still might be ready to go.”
Yost on Fielder
The most pure power hitter Ned Yost can remember coaching stepped away from baseball on Wednesday. Prince Fielder, 32, announced his retirement because of a neck injury.
To Yost, the 275-pound first baseman had the most powerful bat he’d ever worked with in baseball.
“It was just — he could hit them a long ways,” said Yost, who coached Fielder with the Milwaukee Brewers from 2005, when Fielder made his pro debut, until 2008.
Yost saw Fielder rise from single-A in 2003, when Yost arrived in Milwaukee, to the majors.
Fielder has long been known for his powerful bat, but Yost saw so much more in him.
“He could run faster than you thought he could,” Yost said.
Yost was there in the formative years of Fielder’s MLB career, from his early struggles to some of the peaks of his career.
“He went 0-for-11 to begin his career, then he finally got a bloop hit, then he started hitting after that,” Yost said. “He went to the point where he hit 50 homers when we were there.”