The Kansas City Royals finalized their coaching staff on Tuesday. The club announced new hitting, pitching and bullpen coaches, along with a quality control coach. All moves were internal ones.
It’s taken some time, but the Kansas City Royals officially announced their 2018 coaching staff on Tuesday. The announcement came as three new coaches joined the staff from elsewhere within the organization. The club also announced a first-ever quality control coach position — a move that adds some additional responsibility to a 2017 coach.
Terry Bradshaw (No, not that one.) will take over as hitting coach for Dale Sveum, who himself replaced Don Wakamatsu as bench coach. Cal Eldred earned the nod as new pitching coach, replacing Dave Eiland whom the club let go, along with Wakamatsu, at the end of the season. Vance Wilson will be the team’s new bullpen coach, while Pedro Grifol will assume the new duties of quality control coach to go with his role as catching coach.
Those four men will join Sveum, Mitch Maier (first-base coach) and Mike Jirschele (third-base coach) on Ned Yost‘s staff.
It’s a staff made up entirely of in-house pieces.
Bradshaw has been with the organization since 2000. The 48-year-old has spent the past five years working as the minor league hitting coordinator. Prior to that, he served as hitting coach for several of the minor league affiliates, including Wilmington, Omaha and Northwest Arkansas. Bradshaw played for the Cardinals in 34 games across the 1995 and 1996 seasons.
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Unlike Bradshaw, Eldred is fairly new to the organization. He’s spent the past two years as an assistant to the general manager working on player development. Eldred, 49, worked for the Cardinals in a similar capacity the two years prior to joining the Kansas City Royals. A right-handed pitcher in his day, Eldred started for the Brewers and White Sox before becoming a relief pitcher with the Cardinals. In 1993, he led the league with 36 starts and 258 innings pitched.
Wilson, meanwhile, brings plenty of managerial experience to his role as bullpen coach. He joins the staff after leading Northwest Arkansas the past four years. Before that, the 44-year-old also managed in the Arizona Fall League, at Wilmington and at Kane County. Wilson played in parts of eight MLB season — six with the Mets and two with the Tigers.
The 2018 season will be Grifol’s sixth with the Kansas City Royals, making him one of the longest tenured members of the inexperienced staff. It’s the kind of staff that makes you wonder if the team is planning for a full rebuild.
What do you think, fans? Should the Royals have gone outside the organization in search of replacements? Or does it make more sense to promote from within, as they did? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.