Yost: Royals' bats seemed off in late spring

Veteran manager looking at 40-game mark to better evaluate season

Yost: Royals' bats seemed off in late spring

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals are not off to the start they'd hoped for, and already some fans are asking the age-old question this time of year: Is it too early to panic?

Manager Ned Yost understands the question.

"It just shows when they panic, they care about you and want you to win," Yost said. "That's fine."

The Royals, who have postseason aspirations, stumbled out of the gate at 2-6 before posting a 3-1 win in Thursday night's series finale against the A's.

The principal culprit has been the offense, which has scored 27 runs in the first nine games.

Yost could sense something was wrong toward the end of Spring Training.

"For me, we were rolling in Spring Training until that final game in [Surprise, Ariz.] and we couldn't do anything against [Rangers right-hander] Dillon Gee [a 0-0 tie]," Yost said. "Then, I thought, 'Hey, it's getaway day, no problem.' Then, we went to Texas to finish Spring Training and we didn't do anything there. But hey, it's the end of Spring Training.

"And then we didn't do anything in Minnesota to start the season. I thought we were breaking out of it in Houston, but we haven't yet."

Yost and his staff are waiting patiently for improvement.

"We haven't hit," Yost said "Do I worry about it? No. Do I like it? No. I'd rather get on track and win some ballgames. But you deal with it and try to get better."

General manager Dayton Moore often talks of waiting for the first 40 games to unfold before judging a particular team. Yost is in that camp as well.

"You get a better understanding of where you are then," Yost said. "Pretty much [40 games in]. I don't know if you ever don't get concerned. But you're not concerned in terms of having a good team or not a good team. We know we got a good team."

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.