KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New Kansas City Royals Manager Matt Quatraro spoke with the local media for the first time Thursday afternoon sporting his new number 33 Royals jersey.
Quatraro takes over a 65-97 club that hasn't had a winning season since 2015. The newest Royals manager says his first focus will be utilizing all the club's talent, building depth and piecing together a pitching staff.
"I want to listen to what you have to say and that's how our staff is going to work and our staff is going to be super dedicated to connecting with our players on a personal level and on a baseball level and I think that's what the main message is."
This is one of many things Quatraro looks to work on, including working to bring in more transparency and collaboration throughout the club.
Quatraro will be the 21st manager for the Royals, succeeding Mike Matheny. The former MLB player will head into his 10th season as an MLB coach in 2023, his 28th season involved in Major League Baseball. With a big task ahead of bringing a winning culture back to Kansas City, Quatraro says he plans to address pitching issues right away.
"What I'm looking for is to maximize their potential through some tweaks in approach or maybe some pitch usage kind of things," Quatraro said, "The talent is clearly there and I think we will continue to add depth because you know you can start out the year with a 13-man staff and you're gonna end up using upwards of 25-30 guys."
In addition to pitching, close games have been an issue for the Royals recently. The Royals were 16-20 in one run games this season. When it comes to those close tight games, Quatraro plans to be on the winning side by having the right players and staff in place.
"The obvious narratives are the big spenders and the little spenders but that doesn't really tell the whole story of what goes on the field," Quatraro said, "Talent is talent regardless of your experience level and your name recognition. What I look at is winning those decisions on the margins."
The 48-year-old played seven seasons within the Tampa Bay Devil Rays minor league system, primarily at catcher. After retiring, Quatraro would stay in the Rays minor league system, working his way through the system as a coach. Quatraro would eventually work his way to the majors, working as a hitting coach on World Series winning manager Terry Francona's staff on the then-Cleveland Indians in 2014. Most recently, Quatraro spent the last five seasons on Kevin Cash's staff with the Rays, the past four as a bench coach.
The Royals will begin the 2023 regular season on March 30th at home hosting the Minnesota Twins.