KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals have exercised their option on manager Ned Yost to keep him with the club through the 2013 season.
The team announced the move Tuesday, six days before pitchers and catchers are due to report to the Royals' spring training home in Surprise, Ariz.
Yost was hired in May 2010 to replace Trey Hillman. He signed a two-year extension that July that included a club option for next season.
Yost is just 126-163 since taking over the Royals, but he's been credited with helping bring along one of the youngest rosters in baseball. A youthful team led by Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas is expected to begin contending in the AL Central for the first time in years.
Yost last fall shook up his coaching staff, parting with pitching coach Bob McClure and bench coach John Gibbons. He replaced McClure with former Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland, who will be asked to develop a young rotation that was long on talent but short on results as the Royals finished 24 games out of first place in the AL Central.
McClure oversaw the development of former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke, now with the Brewers, along with starters such as Luke Hochevar and Danny Duffy. He was often criticized for a pitching staff that walked far too many batters -- the Royals were fourth in the majors and led the American League with 557 walks -- and consequently struggled to get deep into games.
Headed into this season, the Royals have at least upgraded their starting rotation by trading Melky Cabrera to San Francisco for left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, and bolstered their bullpen by acquiring Jose Mijares and Jonathan Broxton.
And all that youth hasn't dampened the enthusiasm. Hosmer last season put together one of the finest rookie seasons in franchise history, hitting .293 with 19 homers and 78 RBIs, and former No. 1 pick Hochevar, Duffy and Felipe Paulino all showed promise.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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