Thursday, September 29, 2011
Bob McClure, John Gibbons out in KC
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Royals manager Ned Yost is shaking up his coaching staff after a season that was long on development and short on results.
Pitching coach Bob McClure and bench coach John Gibbons will not return next season, Yost said Thursday. Hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, first-base coach Doug Sisson, third-base coach Eddie Rodriguez and bullpen coach Steve Foster will be back.
"In terms of our bench coach, we've got young catchers, young Latin catchers, so we're going to make an adjustment there," Yost said. "In terms of our pitching, we just threw too many balls. We walked too many hitters. We were behind in the count far too much, which resulted in more hits than we would like to see."
Yost said there are internal candidates for the bench coach opening, and that person will be responsible for helping catchers Salvador Perez, Manny Pina and Brayan Pena. All three played a significant amount this season.
The team likely will go outside the organization to replace McClure, who has served as the pitching coach the past six seasons and helped tutor Zack Greinke to the AL Cy Young Award in 2009.
"We pitched up way, way too much, and pitching up is a result of mechanics," Yost said. "We got guys who can pitch, but we don't have a dynamic No. 1. We don't' have (Justin) Verlander. ... We just consistently pitched up too much, and we knew we had to find a way to get the ball down, so that's going to be a consistent focus. And it was a consistent focus this year, we just couldn't accomplish it."
McClure had been with the Royals since the 2006 season, lasting through the managerial tenures of Buddy Bell, Trey Hillman and Yost. But the starting pitching was a clear area of weakness this season, particularly when it came to pitch count, and the front office decided it was important to give the staff a "new voice."
"I've never been around a pitching coach, or a coach period, who worked so well with everyone in the organization," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "Just at the end of the day, Ned and I, and the baseball operations group, we just felt like a new voice was necessary more than anything else."
Yost said the ideal replacement will be someone who lasted a long time in the big leagues with "mediocre stuff," meaning they made the most of their ability while learning how to adapt to the changing times.
"Bob McClure did a phenomenal job here for many, many years," Yost said. "We're looking at names."