The Royals have hired Paul Hoover as their new bench coach, according to reporter Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Hoover had spent the last four years with the Rays as a field coordinator, working with Matt Quatraro, who was hired as Royals manager this month.
Hoover is an Ohio native and Kent State grad who spent parts of seven years in the big leagues as a catcher with the Rays and Marlins. He managed in rookie ball in 2012 before becoming a roving minor league coordinator for the Rays for six seasons, then joining the big league staff in 2019.
He talked about his role as field coordinator in a 2019 piece at The Athletic with Jon Greenberg.
“I get to do a little bit of everything,” he said. “Expertise in catching, but I get to help out with advancing the (opposing) hitters, all the end of game stuff, I’m two seats down so I get to hear what Cashie (manager Kevin Cash) and Q (bench Matt Quataro) are talking about and stuff like that. Trying to coordinate the schedules of when we’re going to do stuff and how we’re going to do it. So it’s been fun. It’s been really fun. I’m getting exposed to a lot, which is beneficial and mind-blowing at first, but beneficial, you know what I mean?”
What’s his daily routine like? Busy.
“I help formulate my opinion and give to our pitching coach and coach for game planning against opposing hitters,” he said. “I’m in charge of our catchers. I’m in charge of the daily run game with the guys stealing and throwing over and stuff like that, helping coordinate the times of pitchers are going to stretch, position players are gonna stretch, if they’re going to hit on the field.”
He was praised by Rays catcher Mike Zunino for his hard work and ideas on pitch framing.
Hoover replaces Pedro Grifol, who was hired to manage the Chicago White Sox. The Royals have not officially announced the hiring yet. They still have to hire a pitching coach, and make decisions on whether or not to retain John Mabry and Larry Carter on the coaching staff.