Yost wants starters to keep 'pen less busy

Yost wants starters to keep 'pen less busy

Yost wants starters to keep 'pen less busy
DETROIT -- Royals manager Ned Yost is pleased with how his pitching staff has handled the significant injuries endured during the first half of the season.

With starters Felipe Paulino and Danny Duffy both requiring Tommy John surgery, Yost admits his team has had to "rely heavily on our bullpen" in the first 80-plus games.

Yost hopes that dynamic will change a bit following the All-Start break. The Royals decided to carry 13 pitchers at the end of the first half and during this 11-game road trip to help support a bullpen that has often had to work at least three or four innings in many outings this season.

Yost would like to get some additional innings from his starters during the second half.

"We need to find length on our starters a bit more, and the guys are doing a little better with that," Yost said. "[Everett] Teaford and [Luis] Mendoza have gone deeper recently. They've done a good job. [Bruce] Chen is pitching better lately."

Yost defines a starter as "going deep" when he can get seven innings a couple of times through the rotation, and at least six innings most games. The skipper does like the depth of his bullpen, but would prefer to avoid using his relievers four innings a few times over a one-week span.

Yost hopes Friday's starter Jonathan Sanchez can command the ball better and throw strikes more consistently, which will allow him to go deeper into games.

"Jonathan can get into and out of trouble, and he has a knack for getting out of a lot of those jams," Yost said. "But we want to get his pitch count down."

Yost feels that right-hander Nate Adcock can do a great job as a long relief pitcher during this weekend's series as needed, and that Adcock is valuable because of his ability to pitch short and long.