Thursday, June 30, 2022

Royals fire hitting coach Terry Bradshaw as Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City’s hitters continue to struggle

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The Kansas City Royals announced a slew of changes to their coaching staff on Monday afternoon, headlined by the dismissal of hitting coach Terry Bradshaw. 

Bradshaw, 53 years old, had been the Royals hitting coach since the 2018 season. He’d spent more than two decades with the organization in various roles, and had enjoyed a brief two-year career in the majors as a player with the St. Louis Cardinals during the mid-90s. The Royals will replace Bradshaw by having senior director of player development and hitting performance Alec Zumwalt join the coaching staff on a full-time basis. Mike Tosar, a special assistant hitting coach, will also join the staff.

The Royals entered Monday with a 12-20 record on the regular season and a poorly performing offense. Kansas City’s lineup ranks 27th in the majors in runs scored and 26th in wRC+, a FanGraphs catch-all metric that adjusts for ballpark among other variables. To put the Royals’ offensive struggles into perspective, they’ve afforded nine players at least 50 plate appearances; just two of those players have produced at a league-average clip or better: Andrew Benintendi and Hunter Dozier.

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It’s notable that rookie third baseman Bobby Witt Jr. has not been one the right side of that line (he’s hitting .217/.254/.375 with three homers through his first 31 MLB games). Neither have veteran catcher Salvador Perez nor outfielder Whit Merrifield. Seeing as how important Witt is to future Royals successes — and how important Perez and Merrifield have been in the past — it makes sense that the organization would feel it had no choice but to make changes to the coaching staff.

Zumwalt and company won’t have to wait long to try to make an impact. The Royals will continue their season on Monday evening against the Chicago White Sox in what will serve as the first of a four-game series.

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