Royals fire manager Mike Matheny, pitching coach Cal Eldred
The Kansas City Royals are finally ready to turn the page on a franchise that has been rebuilding far too long. The young guys are slowly coming up, while the rest continue to cook in the minors. New direction means new coaching, and the Royals wasted no time letting manager Mike Matheny go on Wednesday night.
After a 65-97 finish for 2022, Matheny’s career with the Royals will end after three seasons. Cal Eldred, the pitching coach of the team for four years, will also not be returning.
Following the Royals 2-9 loss to the Guardians on Wednesday, the Royals official Twitter account announced the news.
Matheny was a big name with the St. Louis Cardinals. Matheny managed the St. Louis Cardinals for six and a half seasons with four postseason appearances, including a National League pennant in 2013. When the Royals hired him in 2020, they thought they’d find similar success under Matheny’s control.
While he didn’t have the same level of talent with the Royals, the team somehow took a step backward. With names such as Bobby Witt Jr., Nick Pratto, and Vinnie Pasquantino debuting this year, there was the potential of the team flirting with .500.
But the vibe with Matheny was just never there with this team. It was reported last week that players on the team were hoping for a change in management, and a team who isn’t fighting for their skipper won’t be successful. Matheny even faced some criticism for his leadership, as 10 unvaccinated players weren’t allowed to travel to Toronto back in July. While that isn’t fully the manager’s fault, it was just another layer of icing on a cake of failure for Matheny.
Besides Matheny, Eldred deserves just as much criticism. The Royals have lots of talent on their pitching side of things, and Eldred pushed them completely backward. The Royals’ pitching staff finished worst in the American League in strikeouts, walks, hits allowed, runs allowed, and ERA. Brady Singer had himself the best season of his career, but outside of him, the pitching staff got worse. Daniel Lynch, Kris Bubic, and Carlos Hernandez all regressed and rookie Jonathan Heasley showed too much inconsistency.
This is only the beginning for the Royals, who, after winning it all in 2015, haven’t done crap since. Matheny and Eldred aren’t the first victims either. The firing of team president Dayton Moore took place just last month. Matheny and Eldred are far from being the last, and it’s exactly what the Royals need to become relevant again.
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