The Kansas City Royals hired Matt Quatraro to be their new manager just before the end of October and on the first day of December, the club has its new pitching coach as well. Per a Thursday morning report by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, former Cleveland Guardians bullpen coach Brian Sweeney is the Royals' replacement for Cal Eldred.
Royals hiring Brian Sweeney as their new pitching coach, sources tell The Athletic. Sweeney, a former major-league pitcher with the Padres and Mariners, had been a coach with the Guardians since 2018, and their bullpen coach since ‘20.
Sweeney is a former big-leaguer, having pitched 117 career innings with the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres during the 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2010 seasons. During those stints, the New York native recorded a 4-2 record with a 3.38 ERA, 54 strikeouts and 25 walks. The 48-year-old was worth 1.0 bWAR and 0.4 fWAR during his career. He also played for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in the Nippon Professional Baseball league.
The journey of Sweeney through the coaching ranks has been in development for a while, as he got started back in 2015 with the Philadelphia Phillies as the pitching coach for their rookie Gulf Coast Phillies team back in 2015. Over the next couple of seasons, he was the pitching coach for the Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws. In 2017, he joined the Cleveland Guardians organization and worked on their MLB staff before being named their bullpen coach on Oct. 31, 2019.
The Guardians are regarded as one of the best pitching-centric organizations in all of baseball, as they've routinely been able to develop and field good talents at the highest level. Cleveland's 3.02 bullpen ERA ranked fourth among all major league teams in the 2022 regular season, and Sweeney's job will now be to help improve a Royals rotation and bullpen that has struggled immensely for the past several years.
With a couple of building blocks such as Brady Singer and Scott Barlow in place, Kansas City will now be tasked with working in conjunction with Quatraro, Sweeney and executive vice president of baseball operations/general manager J.J. Picollo to add more arms during the offseason and improve what's already on the team and in the farm system.
In a Twitter announcement, the Royals also shared that they have named José Alguacil as their infield coach. The 50-year-old worked for the Washington Nationals last season as their minor league infield coordinator and was with the San Francisco Giants organization for 15 years prior to that, serving in various roles. He played professionally as an infielder from 1993-2001.