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Royals Hiring Paul Hoover as New Bench Coach

Matt Quatraro's new staff in Kansas City is beginning to fill out with a coaching hire.

Kansas City Royals manager Matt Quatraro hasn't been on the job for very long, but he's already getting busy hiring new additions to his coaching staff. A vacancy at bench coach opened up when Pedro Grifol left to manage the Chicago White Sox, and Quatraro is filling it with someone who worked with him on the Tampa Bay Rays' staff. Per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Paul Hoover is the newest bench coach of the Royals.

Hearing Paul Hoover is headed to Royals with new manager bench Matt Quatraro to be his bench coach, and that Rays will promote Tomas Francisco to MLB coaching staff to replace Hoover. Rodney Linares will take over as Rays bench coach, Brady Williams new 3B coach.

- Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 8:07 p.m. CST

Hoover, 46, was Tampa Bay's major league field coordinator for four years before joining up with Kansas City. Per Topkin's report, he's being replaced by Tomas Francisco. He has 40 games of big-league playing experience, spending time with the Rays, the (then) Florida Marlins and the Philadelphia Phillies from 2001-2010. Hoover became the manager of the Gulf Coast League Rays back in 2012 and worked his way up to working in the catching coordinator realm before ultimately becoming the Rays' field coordinator when Rocco Baldelli got hired by the Minnesota Twins.

As a field coordinator with the Rays, Hoover was responsible for quite a bit. He specialized in catching, although he also worked in conjunction with the pitching coach to come up with plans to attack opposing hitters and he also provided input in other areas as needed. He received heaping praise from catcher Mike Zunino in an article covering Hoover's journey on The Athletic, and Hoover also further explained what his job in Tampa Bay entailed (subscription required for full article): 

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“I get to do a little bit of everything,” he said. “Expertise in catching, but I get to help out with advancing the (opposing) hitters, all the end of game stuff, I’m two seats down so I get to hear what Cashie (manager Kevin Cash) and Q (bench Matt Quataro) are talking about and stuff like that. Trying to coordinate the schedules of when we’re going to do stuff and how we’re going to do it. So it’s been fun. It’s been really fun. I’m getting exposed to a lot, which is beneficial and mind-blowing at first, but beneficial, you know what I mean?”

The addition of Hoover marks the first major hire of the Quatraro era, and the Royals' focus will remain on their ever-important pitching coach vacancy now that Hoover is in the fold. The fact that Quatraro and Kansas City opted for someone he was familiar with could be an indication of where the pitching coach hire could come from. As the Royals go brand-new with a couple of offseason hires, their attempts to construct an improved ball club in 2023 and beyond continue. 

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