Yost: No set roles besides 9th in stacked 'pen

Yost: No set roles besides 9th in stacked 'pen

BALTIMORE -- The glory days of the Royals' famous "HDH" bullpens certainly are a thing of the past. Yet this version of manager Ned Yost's bullpen may have arguably just as many weapons as that famous relief corps.

But with the additions of power arms Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter, acquired last week from San Diego, Yost admits he finds himself less committed to certain roles for his bullpen arms, other than Kelvin Herrera, who is the closer.

"We've got a lot of guys who could fill a lot of roles," Yost said. "We used to have Herrera for the seventh, [Wade] Davis for the eighth, [Greg] Holland for the ninth. But right now, we don't have set roles."

Maurer, who had 20 saves with the Padres, could spell Herrera in the ninth. But Maurer also could become the primary setup man to Herrera, along with Joakim Soria, or Neftali Feliz, who closed for the Brewers earlier this season.

Maurer, Buchter meet teammates

"They've all got a high degree of talent and are pretty good at what they do, from [Mike] Minor to Buchter to [Scott] Alexander," Yost said. "Feliz has been really good since he's been here. Maurer. Soria. [Peter] Moylan. They've all been good.

"It'll just be a lot of mixing and matching."

Yost said his main concern now for the last two months is keeping his bullpen arms fresh.

"You try to keep everyone strong and healthy," he said. "How you use someone depends on what you do the day before. I'm trying to stay away from using guys three days in a row. Keep them strong and healthy and productive."

Soria locks down the save

Big July
The Royals had a superb July, as their 16 wins were the most in the American League and tied with the Nationals and Cubs for second-best in the the Majors -- the Dodgers' 20 wins led baseball.

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.