The Royals are hiring Paul Hoover as their new bench coach, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (Twitter link). Hoover has spent the last four seasons on the Rays staff as their Major League field coordinator, so with former Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro now taking over as Kansas City’s manager, it makes sense that Quatraro would want a familiar face as his top lieutenant.
Filling in the holes on the Tampa coaching staff, Topkin reports that minor league catching coordinator Tomas Francisco is joining the big league staff. Triple-A manager Brady Williams is also becoming the new third base coach, as Topkin reported last week that Williams was being promoted to a then-unknown role for his first job on a Major League staff.
Hoover is a veteran of 40 Major League games, during a playing career that stretched over seven MLB seasons and 14 professional seasons in total. He began his post-playing career in 2012 as a manager for the Rays’ Gulf Coast League affiliate, and then six seasons as a catching coordinator working at all levels of Tampa Bay’s farm system before receiving a promotion to the MLB staff.
The 46-year-old Hoover replaces Pedro Grifol in the bench coach job, after Grifol left the Royals to become the new White Sox manager. It seems likely that some other changes might some to the K.C. staff, and one vacancy has yet to be filled as the Royals are looking for a new pitching coach.
The Rays often promote from within for coaching vacancies, and the 34-year-old Francisco will get his first opportunity on the big league staff. Francisco played in the Rays’ farm system from 2007-2010, and then moved onto such roles as manager of the Rays’ GCL and Dominican Summer League teams, as well as his catching coordinator position.
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