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Does Ned Yost Have The Magic Touch For The Kansas City Royals?

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The moderate success under Ned Yost raises eyebrows about what's really going on.

Continuing the popular maxim that former big league catchers make great coaches or managers, Ned Yost continues to have at least some modicum of success with the Kansas City Royals after Trey Hillman was fired following his 12-23 start. Yost, at least at the time of this writing, was one game over .500 with a squad that is 10 games below .500 on the season (27-37). With 15 wins in 29 games, Yost is definitely having a better go of it than his predecessor.

Yost was a catcher at the major league level for six seasons for the Brewers, the Rangers and the Expos (that would be a franchise formerly located in Montreal for those of you too young to remember). He played a total of 219 games, so Yost hardly had the type of career that a guy like Mike Scioscia had. Still, it goes to show that catchers still make it in the coaching ranks regardless of their personal success.

So does this mean that Yost is a great manager? He's coaxing .500 or better ball out of a club that couldn't generate nearly that under another manager. Is this a lucky streak? It's hard to tell given Yost's own coaching history. He previously managed the Milwaukee Brewers for the majority of this decade with an overall record that shouldn't merit any future opportunities at a .477 winning clip (457-502). Yet in his last season, the team finished second in their division and went 83-67 under his watch that season before being fired in mid-September after a slide toward season's end.

Specifically, the Brewers seemed to get better the longer he was at the helm, finishing in dead last in the NL Central his first two seasons before finishing third, fourth, and then second twice in a row. Those signs of growth would be indicators of a savvy manager getting a hold of his team over time. Yet the Brewers chose to part ways, replacing him with then-third base coach Dale Sveum. When considering his success, you also have to remember that names like Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun were also growing up in that time. How much of that was about the manager and how much was about the talent amassed at the MLB level?

Yet it's hard to ignore the Royals' success at this point, still maintaining a .500 hold in series against the Rangers, the Tigers, the Red Sox and Tigers. It's not a cupcake schedule that Yost has been manning, so something is different in the players pre- and post-Hillman. David DeJesus is batting nearly .400 in Yost's tenure, Billy Butler is hitting .330 and getting on base at a .400 clip. Even Yuniesky Betancourt is hitting near .300 in this same time, meaning the bats are coming together at some key moments. Sure everything isn't golden, but after Greinke's fantastic outing, there's some hope under the new management.

What's the golden touch here? Is it the fact that summer is kicking in and players just get better the more reps they put in? Is Yost doing something? What are your thoughts?