The KC Royals have made some significant moves this week by hiring what could be the foundation of their pitching for years to come.
And Saturday afternoon, in a story appearing on the club’s official website, MLB.com KC beat writer Anne Rogers reported the club is “expected to hire” Minnesota assistant pitching coordinator Zack Bove as assistant pitching coach.
By all accounts, both Sweeney and Bove have the background to utilize analytics in ways that fit Kansas City principal owner John Sherman’s well-known desire to use analytics more. In Sweeney’s time with the Guardians, he helped coach one of the best pitching staffs in the American League, including a bullpen that was one of the best in baseball last season.
Fans should look for Zach Bove to help the KC Royals with pitching strategy.
Bove began working for the Minnesota organization in 2019 and, besides being the Twins’ assistant pitching coordinator, also served as a minor league coach and special projects pitching coordinator. Per Rodgers in her Saturday story, Royals general manager J.J. Picollo earlier predicted Sweeney’s assistant pitching coach will also be a “strategist.”
Expect both new members of manager Matt Quatraro’s first KC staff to strive to improve Kansas City’s young nucleus of pitchers including Kris Bubic, Jackson Kowar, and Daniel Lynch. and to help them reach their potential.
Whether Kansas City will hire a pitching coordinator to oversee pitching for the entire organization remains to be seen. Frequently mentioned by multiple outlets as a possible addition to the Royal system is former KC pitcher Royal Bannister, currently San Francisco’s director of pitching. Time will tell whether, after the hiring of Sweeney and anticipated hiring of Bove, the Royals have interest in adding Bannister.
With Sweeney, and presumably Bove, in the fold, Kansas City has started to assemble what could be a coaching staff capable of turning its pitching staff around.
The Royals are busy trying to improve their pitching.