Ned Yost media session: June 4, 2014
Today is KC’s first home game since coaching roles were changed last week while the team was in Toronto. Dale Sveum, formerly the third base coach, is now the team’s hitting coach, with previous hitting instructor, Pedro Grifol, re-assigned to catching coach. Mike Jirschele moved into the third base coach role.
According to manager Ned Yost, the objectives set in place by Grifol have not changed even if the voice delivering the instruction has.
“The message isn’t different,” said Yost. “Pedro and Dale have been working closely together all season long. Those of us that have kids understand that you can talk and talk and talk, your next door neighbor says the same thing, and it clicks.”
General manager Dayton Moore said that it is his responsibility to find the right coaching, but that the players must be willing to meet them half way.
“I’m not proud of the fact that we’ve had several changes,” said Moore. “Ned and I have to make sure we find the right voice, the right teachers, to help our players make adjustments.”
Moore said the current roster is talented and experienced enough to “take ownership” of their individual performances.
As for Sveum, Yost touted his perspective and his background, asserting that Sveum is capable of turning around what has been a disappointing offensive campaign thus far in 2014.
“In talking to Dale about it, we were probably looking down in the zone a little bit more than we needed to,” said Yost. “Dale has been a Major League hitting coach. He has three years of experience with a power-hitting club in Milwaukee, and the thing about Dale is, he was a switch hitter. He had to learn how to hit with power from the left side. He always had power from the right side, being a right-handed hitter. But he had to learn to develop it and manufacture power from the left side.”
Sveum was a member of seven different teams over the course of a 12-season playing career in the majors. In 1987, Sveum hit 25 home runs and drove in 95 runs for the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2009, with Sveum has his hitting coach, Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder enjoyed his best statistical season at the plate, belting 46 home runs and driving in a career-high 141 runs. One year later, Sveum oversaw an offense that included five players with 23-or-more home runs and three players with at least 102 RBI.
By Kolby Paxton