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Kansas City Royals Name Dave Eiland New Pitching Coach

Our national innocence is destroyed because the Royals have announced a transaction during the World Series. Oh wait, this is an off-day, so it's totally cool... (I don't understand anything Bud Selig does or believes.)

Dutton (I believe he was the first) has reported that the Royals have named former Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland their new pitching coach. Eiland had first interviewed for the job earlier this month. Eiland served as Yankee pitching coach from 2008-2010, after spending eight years working in the organization. After the 2010 season, Eiland was not brought back as Yankee pitching coach, and no one really ever said why. He's also got the requisite "left the team for a few weeks to undergo rehab/regroup/spend time with family then came back and everything was cool" line on his resume.

Eiland spent over a decade as a Major League pitcher, bouncing around the game and generally not being very good. I don't believe this is particularly relevant one way or the other.

When the Royals parted ways with Bob McClure the move was widely seen as a Ned Yost power play. Following that line of thought, we must assume that Eiland is a Yost guy, although there doesn't seem to be any direct connection between the two men. Eiland spent last season in some nebulous role with the Rays, where he was possibly dangerously close to a spreadsheet at some time.

Given how much emphasis the Royals put on "throwing strikes" in the firing/whatever of McClure, another assumption is that Eiland is being brought in to bring a new attention to avoiding walks and possibly... I guess... some kind of Twins-esque pitching to contact thing. Who knows? The "we hate walks" ethos trotted out by Dayton and Ned after the season was encouraging insomuchas it revealed they were vaguely paying attention, but it seems so obvious as to be odd as a strategy. Basically every manager and GM who has ever lived has hated it when pitchers walk guys. What's next, a hitting coach who wants the team's hitters to get hits? (Oh wait, dangerous ground here, we've frequently employed guys who minimized actual hitting. Better to just move guys over.)

To my mind, there are two classes of pitching coach: guys who take specific pitchers and teach them a new pitch/repertoire and the other dudes. The only really effective pitching coaches, consistently, are the guys like Duncan and Cooper who have a track record of teaching players a new pitch. Everyone else is just a huge pile of ex-players who come and go and mostly seem powerless to decide the fate of their staffs or themselves. So onward!