The Royals have interviewed Dodgers first base coach Clayton McCullough for their managerial opening according to MLB.com reporter Anne Rogers. He joins a list of known interviewed candidates that includes Phillies third base coach Dusty Wathan, Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro, and internal candidates with the Royals such as bench coach Pedro Grifol, third base coach Vance Wilson, and Omaha manager Scott Thorman. MLB Network reporter Jon Paul Morosi had previously reported the Royals were interested in McCullough, and he tweets today that McCullough is a finalist for the job. His father Howard is a scout for the Royals.
McCullough is a North Carolina native who played ball at East Carolina University before having a short minor league career with the Cleveland Indians. He began managing in the minors for the Blue Jays in 2007, twice winning championships, and twice winning “Manager of the Year” honors. In 2014, he was named Minor League Coordinator of Instruction and earned praise for his development skills. The next year he moved on to the Dodgers as Minor League Field Coordinator. He joined the big league staff in 2021 as first base coach. With the Dodgers, McCullough has been known for his attention to detail, studying video to improve stolen base chances.
The 42-year-old has interviewed in the past for manager jobs with the Mets and Giants. The Dodgers are known for spending a lot of money, but they have also developed a lot of young players, particularly on the pitching side, and McCullough could help transfer that knowledge to Kansas City. The Dodgers are also very analytically-minded and McCullough has learned from manager Dave Roberts how to communicate that game plan to his staff and players.
Rogers writes that while the Royals don’t have a timeline for their serach, ”they have indicated they would like to have a manager in place before free agency begins (five days after the World Series ends).” She also indicates that there may be other candidates being considered that have not been reported. The Royals and White Sox are the last two teams with managerial openings with the Rangers hiring Bruce Bochy and the Marlins hiring Skip Schumaker.