The Royals shook up their coaching staff Thursday in an attempt to jumpstart their failing offense, making Dale Sveum the hitting coach and Mike Jirschele their third-base coach. Sveum is Kansas City’s fifth hitting coach in less than three seasons.

Pedro Grifol, who took over as hitting coach last season, will now instruct catchers.

The moves were announced after the Royals finished off a disastrous homestand that included a sweep at the hands of Houston, and before they opened a four-game series in Toronto.

Sveum said the Royals haven’t done a good enough job this season of hitting pitches in the upper half of the strike zone.

“The bottom line is we’ve struggled with elevation and we’ve swung at pitches down in the zone probably way too much,” he said. “From thigh high to the top of the strike zone, we’re not doing enough damage.”

The Royals began the day last in the majors with 21 homers, putting them on pace to match the 1976 club for the fewest in franchise history for a non-strike-shortened season. They’re also last in the American League in runs and slugging percentage.

“There is not one man in the lineup that’s hitting the ball well,” Royals designated hitter Billy Butler said Wednesday. “We’re just cold.”

POSSIBLE SURGERY — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Chris Withrow was diagnosed with a ligament tear in his right elbow and was told he needs Tommy John surgery.

The team said Thursday that their first-round draft pick in 2007 was examined last week by team physician Neal ElAttrache, who diagnosed a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament. Withrow, who last pitched for the Dodgers on May 20 in New York, was placed on the disabled list and will consult another doctor next week before deciding his next course of action.

ELBOW IMPROVED — Outfielder Carlos Beltran tested his injured right elbow with 25 swings from each side of the plate, and the New York Yankees say the slugger did not experience any discomfort.

Beltran worked out in the home batting cage at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, with hitting coach Kevin Long on soft-toss duties. Beltran has a bone spur in his elbow, and the eight-time All-Star is hoping to avoid surgery.

The Yankees also announced that Mark Teixeira saw Dr. Keith Raskin, who confirmed that the first baseman has inflammation in his surgically repaired right wrist. Teixeira is day to day.