New Royals manager Matt Quatraro is a big proponent of depth

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New Kansas City Royals manager Matt Quatraro spoke to local media for the first time Thursday afternoon in his new Royals number 33 jersey.

Quatraro takes over a 65-97 club that hasn’t had a winning season since 2015. The Royals’ newest manager says his first aim will be to use all the club’s talent, develop depth and build a squad of launchers.

“I want to listen to what you have to say and that’s how our staff is going to work and our staff is going to be super dedicated to connecting with our players on a personal level and on a baseball level and I think that’s what that the main message is.”

It’s one of the many things Quatraro is looking to work on, including work to bring more transparency and collaboration throughout the club.

Quatraro will be the Royals’ 21st coach, succeeding Mike Matheny. The former MLB player will enter his 10th season as MLB coach in 2023, his 28th season involved with Major League Baseball. With a big task ahead of bringing a winning culture back to Kansas City, Quatraro says he plans to address the pitching issues immediately.

“What I’m looking for is maximizing their potential through some tweaks in approach or maybe things like that in the use of the pitch,” Quatraro said, “The talent is clearly there and I think we’ll keep adding depth because you know you can start the year with a team of 13 and you’ll end up using more than 25-30 guys.”

In addition to pitching, close games have been a problem for the Royals recently. The Royals were 16-20 in a single game this season. When it comes to those close matches, Quatraro plans to be on the winning side by having the right players and the right personnel in place.

“The obvious stories are the big spenders and the small spenders, but that doesn’t really tell the whole story of what’s happening on the pitch,” Quatraro said, “Talent is talent no matter what your skill level. experience and recognition of your name. What I’m looking at is winning those decisions on the margins.”

The 48-year-old played seven seasons in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays minor league system, mostly at catcher. After retiring, Quatraro would remain in the Rays’ minor league system, working his way through the system as a coach. Quatraro would eventually work his way to the majors, working as a hitting coach on the staff of World Series-winning manager Terry Francona on the Cleveland Indians in 2014. More recently, Quatraro has spent the past five seasons on the staff of Kevin Cash with the Rays, the last four as a bench coach.

The Royals will begin the 2023 regular season on March 30 at home by hosting the Minnesota Twins.

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