Some of his moves have been very successful, backed by legitimate statistics, but there comes a point when you need to consider whether what's right in a given game situation is right for the team at this moment in the season. In the midst of a 10-game losing streak, the Kansas City Royals look as unsettled as their manager's lineup card, and without some stability, this is a ship that will continue to reel.
In Yost's defense, he's lost two everyday players, his closer and a valuable reliever, in the first few weeks of the season. It would be a lot easier to set a lineup if Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain were available. And even in the short term, his decisions have mostly worked out. Yost had the temerity to put Yuniesky Betancourt at the top of the order, and he responded with two hits in five at-bats. But the immediate benefits are easily canceled out by what the jiggling seems to be doing to the team. It's hard to expect consistent production when six different players have hit in the number two hole in the first 15 games.
Alex Gordon earned the right to hit leadoff last year, and the six position players outside of catcher, second base and center field should have set positions in the order. Yost has showed a willingness to stick with a struggling player. Look no further than Mike Moustakas in 2011. But what he hasn't shown is a willingness to edit himself.
In the Moneyball era, statistics will always be a part of a manager's life. But one would hope that a manager could see that if his team is failing to execute on the basics, then he shouldn't be asking them to do more. This team needs things simplified in order to be reset. Otherwise, they'll continue to press and fidget in pressure situations. Yost likely won't stop playing the percentages, but the reality is that there's only one percentage that matters right now - the Royals' winning percentage of .200.