Royals hire Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro as manager

The Kansas City Royals have signed Matt Quatraro as their new coach, the team announced on Sunday.

Quatraro is a longtime member of the Tampa Bay Rays organization and most recently served as their bench coach, a position he took up in October 2018. He replaces the fired Mike Matheny.

Quatraro, 48, was an eight-round draft pick for the Rays in 1996 and went on to play seven minor league seasons, primarily as a catcher, with the organization.

After ending his playing career, he served as a coach in Tampa Bay’s farm system before joining Terry Francona’s staff in Cleveland in 2014 as an assistant hitting coach. He then returned to the Rays as a bench coach in 2018.

Kansas City fired Matheny after a disappointing 65-97 season. He was 165-219 in his three seasons at the top of the team.

The Royals had viewed 2022 as a turnaround campaign, but they were plagued by poor pitching, struggles by young position players and a lackluster squad of veterans, finishing last in the AL Central with 27 games behind the Guardians.

Pitching has played a big part in her ailments over the past few years. They had the fourth-worst ERA and by far the worst WHIP of any major this season. Pitching coach Cal Eldred was fired at the same time as Matheny.

“The bottom line is it’s time for a change,” owner John Sherman said last month. “Right now there is a gap between where we are and what we expected. … I felt like we made progress in 2021 and in 2022 I don’t feel that way. There were some bright spots – I’m really happy to see the young players – but in 2022 we’re not where we expected to be.” Royals hire Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro as manager

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