KANSAS CITY — The final piece of the Royals’ 2023 coaching staff slid into place Thursday when the club promoted Mitch Stetter to be their new bullpen coach, sources told MLB.com.
The club has not confirmed the news.
Stetter, 41, spent the past three seasons as the Royals’ manager of pitching performance and he has been a pitching coach in the organization since 2014 — first as a player/bullpen coach at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. When he formally retired from playing (he was a big league reliever with the Brewers from 2007-11) he became the pitching coach for the Surprise Royals (Rookie league) and then for Single-A Lexington.
Stetter had been tasked with bridging the gap between Kansas City’s Minor League pitchers and the research and development department in his role as the manager of pitching performance, and he has worked with nearly all the Royals’ homegrown pitchers who are now at the Major League level.
Several of those pitchers and Royals prospects have credited Stetter throughout their development.
Stetter’s experience with pitching and familiarity with the Royals’ pitching staff and organization made him a good fit for the bullpen coach opening; he’ll work closely with pitching coach Brian Sweeney, who is new to the organization. The Royals did conduct several interviews for the job with external candidates before landing on Stetter.
Sweeney, Stetter and assistant pitching coach Zach Bove will make up the new pitching team the Royals put in place to help their young pitching staff reach its potential, with an emphasis on data-driven game planning. Sweeney and Stetter will work closest with pitchers, while Bove will work more as a strategist, leaning heavily on analytics.
With Stetter filling the bullpen coach vacancy, manager Matt Quatraro’s 2023 coaching staff is nearly complete, and an official announcement is expected soon.