The Kansas City Royals wasted little time in announcing changes to the coaching staff for 2018. Pitching coach Dave Eiland and bench coach Don Wakamatsu headline the list of departures.
Barely 12 hours after the 2017 season came to an end, the Kansas City Royals had already announced changes to the coaching staff for 2018.
After suffering their first losing season since 2012, the Royals will begin a rebuilding process this offseason. According to the Kansas City Star, a few of the coaches who helped bring a championship back to Kansas City will not be around for the rebuild.
The departures include pitching coach Dave Eiland and bench coach Don Wakamatsu. Eiland, who also won a World Series while with the Yankees, had been with the Kansas City Royals since 2012. Wakamatsu arrived just in time for the franchise’s consecutive World Series appearances.
Eiland’s departure means bullpen coach Doug Henry is currently in limbo. According to the Star, general manager Dayton Moore said the new pitching coach would have a say in who becomes the next bullpen coach.
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Among the coaches expected to return for 2018 are hitting coach Dale Sveum, catching coach Pedro Grifol and third-base coach Mike Jirschele. According to the Star, Rusty Kuntz is expected to remain with the organization, although his role has yet to be determined, and assistant hitting coach Brian Buchanan could also be in line for a new position.
It’s widely assumed that the next bench coach will be the replacement for Ned Yost should he decide to retire in the coming years. According to the Star, Sveum could be a possible candidate to take over as bench coach.
Regardless of whom the Kansas City Royals hire, they will likely be in for a tough time. It’s unknown the extent of the damage free agency will inflict on the organization. However, it seems unlikely the team will compete for a playoff spot in 2018.
With that being said, the next crop of coaches need to be adept at developing young talent. Because that will be the main goal of the next few seasons, at least.
What do you think? Are you surprised by the departures? Let us know in the comments or on social media.