Eiland treasures opportunity with KC
Last month, Royals manager Ned Yost was asked what he wanted in a pitching coach. Yost mentioned that he was seeking someone who worked hard and had a long playing career while having mediocre stuff. Naturally, the first question for new Kansas City pitching coach Dave Eiland in today’s conference call with reporters centered on whether he fit the bill. Eiland was very candid in his self-evaluation as a pitcher, saying that his “stuff” was probably even south of mediocre. He had to work very hard to stay in the game by studying hitters and other pitchers during a playing career that spanned 14 seasons, including parts of 10 seasons in the Majors.
Eiland is proud and honored to be in the Royals organization. The Florida resident recently spent a day with Ned Yost at the manager’s farm in Georgia. While he didn’t drive a tractor or go hunting with the skipper, Eiland found that they share similar personal and professional philosophies. He later met with Dayton Moore and the Royals baseball operations staff in Kansas City, where Eiland again discovered similar goals and beliefs.
Eiland is eager for Spring Training to begin, though he’ll have to wait until February. At the moment, his number one priority is to familiarize himself with the club’s pitchers. He expects to be poring over video of his new pupils by Wednesday and soon after will begin reaching out to the pitchers.
He knows that the Royals have a strong collection of good, young power arms. Eiland has experience working with young arms from his time with Yankees – both as a minor league coach and as the club’s Major League pitching coach from 2008 to 2010. Eiland can also pass along personal knowledge of what it’s like to make it to “the show” at a young age – he debuted for the Yankees at age 22 after just one appearance at the Triple-A level.