Kansas City, Mo. Royals manager Ned Yost said last month that he wanted to find a new pitching coach who managed to have a long career in the major leagues despite having “mediocre stuff.”
He found precisely that in Dave Eiland.
The former Yankees pitching coach was added to Yost’s staff Tuesday. He’ll be tasked with helping to develop a young starting rotation that was long on talent but too often short on results this season, when the Royals finished 71-91 and 24 games out of first place in the AL Central.
“This is a team that’s going to make some noise as we move forward,” said Eiland, who spent the past season as a special assistant to Rays general manager Andrew Friedman. “We feel like if we all do our part, this is a team that can contend within the next year or two.”
Eiland takes over for Bob McClure, who was let go after five seasons with the Royals.
McClure oversaw the development of former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke, now with the Brewers, along with current starters such as Luke Hochevar and Danny Duffy. But he was often criticized for a pitching staff that walked far too many batters — the Royals were fourth in the majors and led the American League with 557 walks — and consequently struggled to get deep into games.
“You have to teach guys how to pitch into the seventh, eighth and ninth inning, and how to finish games, and that’s what we want to do out there,” Eiland said Tuesday.