J.J. Picollo talks to David Laurila at Fangraphs about the new direction of the team.
Laurila: You’re obviously aware of the criticism your organization has received regarding its pitching development program. What are your thoughts on that?
Picollo: “I think what needs to happen is mostly at the major league level. We’ve examined what we’re doing developmentally. And by no means do we think we’re perfect in developing pitchers, but I believe we had the third-highest number of pitchers from the 2018 draft in the major leagues. When you compare what they’ve done to other teams, we’re a top-five development system. It’s just that they haven’t had the success at the major league level, as a group, that is needed for us to compete at the top of the division.
“We have to figure out what helps each guy, and every guy has different things that he needs to work on. The new pitching coach we hire, and the manager in the pitching department we’ll put together… it will be in their hands to have everyone take the next step.”
Craig Brown at Into the Fountains reacts to the hiring of Brian Sweeney at pitching coach.
I kind of hate the whole “organizational DNA” talk. Except in this case, I’ll make an exception. Cleveland has been turning out quality pitching over the last decade of baseball. In that time they’ve won four division titles and advanced to the postseason on six occasions. They’ve had some fine hitters, but the backbone of these teams has been the pitching. Quality pitching is in the Cleveland organizational DNA.
Sweeney obviously hasn’t been in Cleveland for that entire run of success, and clearly he’s not responsible for all of their recent success since he’s been on their staff. But if you were to grab someone from a successful organization and you can’t get the general, you snag one of the top lieutenants.
Sweeney actually first met Quatraro back in the late 1990s when both were still players training in the Capital Region of New York around Albany. The two are only a year apart in age.
Sweeney, a minor-league pitcher, and Quatraro, a minor-league catcher, actually played catch as part of their offseason preparation.
While both coached in Cleveland under Francona, they did not overlap as members of the staff there. Quatraro joined the Tampa Bay Rays staff after the 2017 season, while Sweeney joined Cleveland’s staff in 2018.
The Royals have an assistant pitching coach, hiring Twins Assistant Pitching Coordinator Zach Bove.
Source: Zach Bove has accepted the assistant pitching coach job with the Kansas City Royals— Pat Ragazzo (@ragazzoreport) December 3, 2022
Bove was a candidate for the Mets’ bullpen coach vacancy
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