Breaking News: Schaefer, Hansen both axed...
Bob Schaefer: Gone!
Guy Hansen: Gone!
RC has learned the Royals will not offer Major League contracts to Bob Schaefer and Guy Hansen for the 2006 season. The search for their replacements is underway, although both will be asked to return to the organization in other capacities.
This marks the third time Hansen has been relieved of his Royals pitching coach duties, and RC does not expect him to accept the Royals' offer (although that is pure speculation on our part). Schaefer has been with the organization for a long time, so it's quite possible he will in fact accept the Royals' offer.
This is a pretty interesting move, and it seems to indicate that manager Buddy Bell has significant influence on personnel moves. When Bell was hired, he was told he could replace any coaches on staff with the exception of Hansen. During the season, Bell brought his friend Billy Doran to be the first base and infield coach, but the rest of the staff remained in tact. Frankly, this move comes as a big surprise to us, as Hansen came to KC with great fanfare, and we expected him to get more than one season to put his pitching philosophy into place.
The results of Hansen's brief tenure are mixed. He seems to have worked wonders with both Mike MacDougal and Andy Sisco, but he had several publicized disputes with future ace Zack Greinke, who ultimately had a dreadful season (not that it was all Hansen's fault). He came in promising to improve on the staff's 5.15 ERA in 2004, but the Royals actually got worse, finishing last in baseball with a dreadful 5.49 ERA.
As such, we have mixed feelings about the move. Of course, much will rest upon Hansen's replacement, but we really wouldn't have minded seeing him stay on for another season. Nor will we really miss him all that much. It's cool that he spends all his waking hours thinking about pitching, but if those hours result in comparisons of Mike Wood to Greg Maddux and Jimmy Gobble to John Rocker, then maybe it's best he moves along.
Be sure to check back with us this week, as we plan to release our new Top 25 prospect list on Tuesday.