Royals Hire Brian Sweeney As Pitching Coach

The Royals announced two additions to their coaching staff today, with Brian Sweeney being named pitching coach and José Alguacil named infield coach.

Sweeney, 48, is a former big league pitcher, having thrown for the Mariners and Padres over 2003-2006. He went to Japan for three seasons from 2007 to 2009 and came back to the Mariners in 2010. He played a few more seasons in the minors but that was his last stint in the big leagues.

Prior to the 2015 season, he took a pitching coach job in the minor league system of the Phillies. He joined Cleveland’s coaching staff at the big league level going into 2018 and has served as their bullpen coach for the past three years. He’s now been poached by Cleveland’s division rival and will come to Kansas City to serve as the pitching coach. Jeffrey Flanagan of reports that Royals’ owner John Sherman, who used to be a minority owner of the Guardians, has been “extremely involved” in the process of filling out the coaching staff.

Getting better results from the pitching staff will surely be a primary area of focus for the Royals, as many of their young pitchers have disappointed in recent years. Daniel Lynch, Kris Bubic and Jackson Kowar have all struggled in their MLB time so far, despite being first-round draft picks. Those disappointing results have helped lengthen the club’s rebuilding period, with their last season above .500 coming with their World Series victory back in 2015.

They’ve made many changes to try to turn their fortunes around going forward, including firing president of baseball operations Dayton Moore, manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred. General manager J.J. Picollo is now in charge of the front office while Matt Quatraro is now the bench boss. Sweeney will jump onto Quatraro’s staff to replace Eldred.

As for Alguacil, 50, he spent 15 years in the Giants’ organization, taking on various roles including first base coach at the MLB level from 2017 to 2019. He spent last year as a minor league infield coordinator with the Nationals but will now return to the big leagues with the Royals.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Sweeney’s hire prior to the official announcement.

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