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Kansas City Royals are ready for Opening Day and a much better 2023 season

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Brian Ellison (left) and Kansas City Royals General Manager J.J. Picollo (right) discuss his new role and plans for the 2023 season.
Elizabeth Ruiz
KCUR 89.3
Brian Ellison (left) and Kansas City Royals General Manager J.J. Picollo (right) discuss his new role and plans for the 2023 season.

After finishing last in the American League Central Division last season, the Kansas City Royals made big moves behind the scenes in order to turn things around in 2023.

Kansas City Royals owner John Sherman thinks his team is poised to move up the standings in 2023.

"This is a young and talented team, we want to see how these young position players can take the next step." Sherman said. "We did make some changes and I think I'm seeing those changes pay off. We had a good spring training."

After finishing last season with a record of 65-97 — the worst in the American League Central — Sherman believed it was time to shift things around in the front office. Among those changes was the hiring of J.J. Picollo as the new executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager, replacing Dayton Moore.

Picollo has been on staff since 2006 and is excited about the direction of the team, led by newly acquired manager Matt Quatraro.

"(Quatraro) just worked with some great managers. So there are a lot of things on his resume that he has experienced that attracted us to him." Picollo said. "Then the things that really caused us to hire him have stood up to this point."

But the Royals weren't just making moves on the field — they added some star power to their broadcast booth. Royals Hall of Famer and former first baseman Mike Sweeney will be over the airwaves this season, taking part in the pre- and post-games on the radio and occasionally filling in as a color analyst on television broadcasts.

He says he's incredibly excited about the team Picollo has put together.

"The Royals are going to be banging on the door to take over the crown in the American League Central and marching towards playoff baseball real soon." Sweeney said.

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