Faith in players is part of Yost's philosophy

Young touched by skipper's prediction of success in opener with O's

Faith in players is part of Yost's philosophy

KANSAS CITY -- It should have come as no surprise that manager Ned Yost showed his faith in right-hander Chris Young, even through Young's two shaky starts.

Yost believes in his players. And it has been documented many times that Royals players know he has their backs.

Yost even suggested to Young a day before he turned in a superb start against the Orioles on Friday (six innings, two runs, 10 strikeouts) that he wanted to get to the ballpark early for that start because Yost wanted to get a good seat to see Young's first win.

Young strikes out 10 in win

"It's hard to find the words to articulate what that meant to me," Young said after his 4-2 win in the series opener.

That is Yost's philosophy, though. He sticks with his players, perhaps to a fault. Even Yost realizes that fault, especially last year when he stuck with a struggling Jeremy Guthrie in the rotation.

"You just try to give them ample opportunities," Yost said. "We could have taken Jeremy Guthrie out of the rotation six or seven starts before we did.

"You just walk the line. I talk to the coaches a lot about it. They share my philosophy. They make sure we're doing the right thing. You look at stuff and at performance and the way they're competing.

"But that's the worst part of the job. I hate it when a player is struggling and fans are on them. I know that either they are going to get out of it, or I know when they're at the end of it."

Another one of Yost's favorites was Jeff Francoeur, who had a great season in 2011 (.285, 20 homers, 87 RBIs). But Francoeur dipped to .235 with a .665 OPS in '12. And by '13, Yost had to bench Francoeur before the club ultimately released him.

"He was at the end of it and struggling," Yost said. "I knew that he wouldn't bounce back to the point of being an everyday player with us.

"And with Jeremy, you had to think, too, of everything he'd done for this organization. When he came to us from Colorado, it was at the beginning of our road to success and he was a big part of it. You can't forget that.

"So you give him every opportunity to kind of get it turned around, but it gets to the point where it's pretty obvious it isn't going to happen. But it's still the toughest part of the job to tell a player that."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.