Kansas City Royals New Manager Matt Quatraro has some significant tasks in front of him. He has to try to make this organization respectable again, get them back to their winning ways, and get their fans interested in this team again. They have not had a winning season since their 2015 World Series win. The good news is that if he can accomplish the first two tasks, fan interest will follow.
Outside Their Organization
Kansas City Royals New Manager Matt Quatraro was hired away from the Tampa Bay Rays. The previous two Royals managers had managerial experience, but Quatraro brings experience as a bench coach. He comes with a strong knowledge of the analytics of the game. A former minor-league player, instructor, and manager in the Rays organization, he has also worked for the big-league staffs in Tampa Bay and Cleveland.
Royals’ fans can expect him to bring both off and on-field communication and teamwork. Quatraro helped the Rays make four straight playoff appearances and win two division titles. He will most likely establish Rays Manager Kevin Cash’s style of playing the whole roster and operate an open-door exchange of ideas.
One of the Youngest Teams in MLB
Kansas City Royals New Manager Matt Quatraro takes over one of the youngest teams in baseball. However, they do have some up-and-coming talent. AL rookie of the year candidate Bobby Witt, Jr., catcher MJ Melendez, first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino, and first baseman/outfielder Nick Pratto are expected to be the future of the team. Quatraro could have a positive influence on their development.
Lack of Pitching
Quatraro faces some obstacles. This season, the Royals pitching staff finished at or near the bottom of the majors in ERA, walks, opponent’s batting average, strikeouts per nine innings, and strikeout-to-walk ratio.
He needs a quality pitching coach who has experience with both veterans and inexperienced young pitchers. Some of the Royals’ top pitching prospects recently have had inspiring outings in the minors. While they’ve shown flashes of their potential, they have struggled to find consistency in the majors. Whether Quatraro will have input on that pitching coach choice remains to be seen.
Will They Add Pitching
Another question is, will the Royals add pitching this off-season? The emergence of Brady Singer down the stretch of the 2022 season provided the club with a future ace. However, Kris Bubic, Jonathan Heasley, Brad Keller, and Daniel Lynch, all struggled tremendously.
There are several starting pitchers in free agency, but will ownership spend the money? They must weigh signing or trading for veterans against the risk of another long, disappointing season with their current pitching staff. The choice of pitching coach could have an effect on these decisions. The ultimate decision is if the Royals work with their current staff or revamp with new talent. And the choice of pitching coach could have a great effect on the direction the team takes.
Zack Greinke has hinted that he wants to return for 2023. His return will only help the rest of starting staff and new manager Matt Quatraro. At age 39, he had a 3.68 ERA over 137 innings. He also mentored some of the younger arms on their pitching staff. Having his skills, stability, and leadership would be a plus.
Fan favorite, catcher Salvador Perez, will be a big help to the new manager and pitching coach. He dealt with some injuries this past season but when healthy, he is a solid player and a leader both on the field and in the clubhouse. Perez’s veteran presence will be of great value to this young team.
Fell Short of Expectations
The Kansas City Royals fell short of expectations this past season, leading to a new manager in Matt Quatraro. He now needs to work on building his coaching staff. He also needs to work with the front office on one of the Royals most important offseasons in recent years. While, maybe, not a full-blown rebuild, strategic choices, and decisions, need to be made to complement a solid core.
If they can make some moves, including trades and free agent signings, this offseason will hopefully show the fans they are serious about competing now rather than later.