42 Comments
Oct 6, 2022Liked by David Lesky

Thank you. Lots of possibilities with that list. JJ seems pretty open and on top of things so it’ll interesting. Have enjoyed your site and looking forward to 2023!

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Jerry! It’s exciting when change has arrived!

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2022Liked by David Lesky

Quite a list, David. Maybe you're covering this topic tomorrow, but what should the pitching side of the organization look like--top to bottom? What models are out there? Rays & Guardians, I assume, are role models for developing pitchers in a cost-effective way?

Expand full comment
author

I’ll definitely address that tomorrow. A good chunk of the coach candidates could easily also oversee all of the pitching.

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2022Liked by David Lesky

I'm on the Beltrain! I think Carlos Beltran has the potential to make this team a contender by 2024 or 2025, with the right bench coach and pitching coach beside him.

Expand full comment
author

He’d be a very interesting hire. Obviously unproven but he’s shown he understands the modern game well.

Expand full comment

Do you think Tony Pena Jr. and/or Zack Greinke would ever get jobs on the coaching staff as well?

Expand full comment
author

I would be surprised by both, but never say never I guess.

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2022Liked by David Lesky

😸 Tony Pena Jr as hitting coach??? BRRRR I just experienced a VERY uncomfortable cold chill!

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2022Liked by David Lesky

I think you have to leave in place the group that includes Zumwalt, DeRenne, Saylor, all the guys that are credited with the ascent of the hitting development program. All of these rookies are in the big leagues due in large part to those coaches so it makes sense to reward results and promote internally. Zumwalt has has really demonstrated extraordinary baseball acumen https://www.kansascity.com/sports/mlb/kansas-city-royals/article261490267.html but he has zero managerial experience correct? So, IDK, leave Grifol in place as an experienced bench coach, while giving Zumwalt a shot or Grifol as manager. None of the external candidates are particularly compelling. More important is who is brought in to fix the pitching throughout the whole organization, lol. Zumwalt was an outfielder who was made into a reliever in the minors. Maybe he can fix the pitching too....

Expand full comment
author

The hitting guys aren’t going anywhere. I can promise you that. I definitely disagree about the lack of compelling external candidates though. Guys like Quatraro and Espada especially are going to get a shot somewhere and I’d bet on them being excellent.

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2022Liked by David Lesky

Great writeup! Lots of good names out there.

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2022Liked by David Lesky

Good stuff. Excited to see the pitching coach candidates tomorrow.

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2022Liked by David Lesky

For the first time in seven years, I'm actually feeling encouraged as a Royals fan. Sherman is clearly changing the culture here and I believe is willing to do whatever is necessary to win as a small market team. We need to go outside the organization for the new skipper - nothing changes if the people involved don't change. Hopefully, JJ brings out the broom and does a clean sweep.

Expand full comment
author

My opinion is that Zumwalt would be a different voice, but I also believe if not him, they’ll likely go outside the organization.

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2022Liked by David Lesky

Well, that didn't take long. Not too brag, but I was right on it happening Wednesday night. I actually have 3 possible candidates in mind. The first one was Pedro Grifol for the reasons you brought up. The second is Don Mattingly who should be used to managing young guys. He also might be able to bring Mel Stottlemeyer Jr. as the pitching coach. The third is the one I referrd to the other day. Mark DeRosa is a pretty hot name out there, and seems to me like a good choice. I know he has the manager job of the WBC, but surely they could work around that if they really like him. Would like to hear your opinion. Thanks David

Expand full comment
author

DeRosa is interesting but I have a tough time getting on board with someone who hasn’t even coached anywhere. I know he gets a lot of run, but I’m not sure what it’s based on because there just isn’t data one way or another on him.

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2022·edited Oct 6, 2022Liked by David Lesky

Christensen, Negron, and Quattro were the ones that read best to me from outside the organization. Grifol would be a fine choice if we stay in house.

Expand full comment
author

Yeah, all good choices. I didn’t mention Clayton McCullough from the Dodgers but he’s apparently a candidate as well.

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2022Liked by David Lesky

It had to happen. I think everyone knew it was going to happen. That said, I didn’t have a huge opinion of Matheny one way or the other. It was, meh, he’s fine. IDK that anyone else would have done that much better. I think his real downfall was just sticking with Eldred too long. Which may or may not have been his call. But once a regime change starts everyone has to go.

Actually, mainly because he was my favorite player growing up and I still never fully recovered…would love for Beltran to get a shot managing here.

Expand full comment
author

I think Matheny wasn’t as bad as people thought strategically, but reports about his clubhouse were rough. So for that reason, he had to go. But you’re definitely right that tying himself to Cal hurt him quite a bit.

Expand full comment

David - Following up on your comment about the clubhouse: in his press conference today JJ made a point of saying "hiring the manager is the most important hire of all because he's the guy who controls the temperature in the clubhouse." A few seconds later he reiterated his emphasis on the clubhouse. I got the strong impression he wasn't real happy with Matheny in that regard, despite all the other good things he said about him.

Expand full comment
author

Those clubhouse issues were maybe the worst kept secret ever. I tweeted this awhile ago, but I think Matheny *can* be successful somewhere else. I just don’t think this is the team he can be successful with.

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2022Liked by David Lesky

Opinion of Giardi

Expand full comment
author

I'd hire him before I'd re-hire Matheny or Trey Hillman, but that might be about it.

Expand full comment

Ugh... Hillman! I had just about wiped that catastrophe from my memory banks when you had to go and bring him up again!

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2022Liked by David Lesky

Awesome read. Shared this to 5 platforms

Expand full comment
author

Thank you!

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2022Liked by David Lesky

A lot of the things that make Zumwalt a good candidate make me hope he doesn't get the manager's gig. He and his crew have been so incredibly good working with the hitters that I would hate to see his attention taken away from that.

Expand full comment
author

I think that thought process (probably unintentionally) assumes the whole hitting program is dependent on Zumwalt. They have A LOT of capable hitting instruction beyond him that I doubt it would make a huge difference. It might end up that Zumwalt back in an overarching role in the organization makes sense but I don’t think him in a different role changes much with the hitters.

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2022Liked by David Lesky

Ned and Dayton, bless their souls despite all the issues we had with both of them, managed to find a cheat code that gave us two glorious years. Who is gonna be the next one to do that, or perhaps even better? I don't care if he's old-school like Ned, or a Jedi master of analytics (although I'd prefer the analytics guy.)

Expand full comment

I posted a link to an SI article on your twitter about Maddon & the Angels. Maybe your thoughts on it might make a newsletter post. It's on the obvious topic: the "soul of baseball" vs. analytics.

Expand full comment
author

I’m sorry, I probably missed it but I think I know the article. I think it goes back to the old stats vs. scouts argument that is super tired because the reality is that neither is right on its own. The most analytical organizations today are way more “traditional” than many realize. And the most “traditional” organizations are way more analytical than many realize.

Expand full comment

Thank you for the incite. I just listened to some of the Piccolo interview on 610. He said there might be some experienced managers that get interviewed as well. He said it was a long list right now but they will be paring it down before starting interviews.

Expand full comment

Also, I didn't hear what is going on with Brian Bannister. I think he would be an intriguing managerial candidate. He was into analytics while he was playing.

Expand full comment
author

I would look to Bannister on the pitching side. He'll be in tomorrow's article.

Expand full comment