Don't look now, but the Royals are winning with Ned Yost

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Last night the Royals staged a late-inning rally to complete a three-game sweep of the Mariners, giving them 10 wins in the past 13 games and a 27-23 mark in 50 games since Ned Yost replaced Trey Hillman as manager.

Kansas City is still just 39-46 overall, which is merely the 21st-best record in baseball, but that puts them only eight games back in the thoroughly mediocre American League Central and suddenly has Yost talking about actually winning the division. Seriously:

You look at today and we’re a good week and a day away from being in first place. That’s the way I look at it. If some guys lose some games, and we get on a bit of a run. We’re in it. I mean, really. Eight days. If things happen. Yeah, I really believe it. Why can’t we make a run? We’ve made a little bit of a run. If we keep winning series and keep playing the way that we’re playing, who knows what can happen?

We’re in a good spot. We just have to continue doing what we’re doing and, slowly but surely, make up ground. We have to continue to pitch the way that we’ve pitched. We’ve got to continue doing what we’ve been doing. There are a lot of things that have to go right but, heck yeah, we still think we’re in it.

Even in baseball’s weakest division it’s tough to take the Royals’ too seriously as contenders until they actually get above .500, but Yost going 27-23 after Hillman went 12-23 this season and 152-207 during his three-year tenure deserves some notice.

Aaron Judge underwent left shoulder surgery

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun
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The Yankees announced on Tuesday that outfielder Aaron Judge underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder, aiming to remove loose bodies and clean up cartilage. Judge is expected to be fully recovered by the time spring training begins in February.

Judge, 25, injured his shoulder on a slide in the second half, though he consistently denied that it bothered him. He slumped heavily, batting just .179 with seven home runs in 191 plate appearances between July 14 and August 31.

Judge still wound up taking home AL Rookie of the Year honors and finished second in AL Most Valuable Player Award balloting. Overall, he hit .284/.422/.627 with 52 home runs, 114 RBI, and 128 runs scored in 678 trips to the plate.