How many former KC Royals are still in the playoffs? Are any franchise personnel candidates for jobs with other big league teams?
Some KC Royals Midweek Musings while wondering if anyone will hire scandalized former managers AJ Hinch or Alex Cora:
Two former Royals remain in the playoffs. Only two former Royals are still playing October baseball. And they’re both with the same team. And battery mates.
Starting pitcher Zack Greinke, who won a Cy Young Award and made his first All-Star team during his seven Kansas City seasons, is on the Astros’ American League Championship Series roster. Six Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers and five more All-Star selections are among the awards Greinke’s collected since leaving the Royals. Look for him to start tonight’s ALCS Game 4 against the Rays.
Catcher Martin Maldonado filled in for the injured Salvador Perez during the 2019 season before the Royals traded him to the Cubs in mid-July for Mike Montgomery. Chicago shipped him to Houston 16 days later and he’s been with the Astros since.
Six former Royals made the Oakland A’s ALDS roster, but the postseasons ended for Liam Hendriks, Jake Diekman, Joakim Soria, Sean Manaea and Mike Minor when Houston eliminated the Athletics last week.
Five ex-Royals—Eric Hosmer, Trevor Rosenthal, Tim Hill, Matt Strahm and Wil Myers—headed home last Thursday when the Dodgers eliminated their San Diego Padres from the NLDS.
After making Tampa Bay’s Wild Card and ALDS rosters, outfielder Brett Phillips, traded by Kansas City to Tampa in late August, didn’t make the Rays’ ALCS roster.
The Dodgers named former Royal speedster and fan favorite Terrance Gore to their Wild Card round and NLDS rosters, but he didn’t make the cut for the NLCS.
Other past Royals who made their clubs’ playoff rosters: Mike Moustakas (Reds), Jeremy Jeffress and Billy Hamilton (Cubs), Jarrod Dyson (White Sox), Brad Boxberger (Marlins) and Jake Odorizzi (Twins).
Open managing jobs. Current KC Royals coaches Pedro Grifol and Vance Wilson have been mentioned in connection with the vacant Detroit managing job. The Tigers still haven’t filled the position, but Grifol and Wilson have again been linked to the opening.
Two other teams are also looking for new skippers. The Red Sox let Ron Roenicke go at season’s end; Roenicke was clearly keeping a dugout seat warm only until Boston can find a more permanent replacement for Alex Cora, who had to go after news broke of his involvement in the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal. Grifol’s name has come up in connection with the job.
The Chicago White Sox created the latest managerial search when they surprisingly axed Rick Renteria Monday. Speculation about potential successors sprang up quickly, with retired Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa, whose first managing job was with the Sox, being mentioned before the day was out. Their intimate knowledge of the American League Central might make Grifol and Wilson interview candidates.
Moore and Picollo. The status of two key Kansas City front office fixtures was discussed here recently—general manager Dayton Moore’s contract situation remained unknown, and the name of J.J. Picollo, a franchise vice president and current assistant general manager for player personnel, had been linked to Philadelphia’s open GM job. As of this writing, nothing had changed; Moore and Picollo were still with the Royals.
What are the youngsters up to? Wondering what some of the Royals’ top prospects and other minor leaguers are up to? Kings of Kauffman’s David Scharff can tell you about the club’s two fall camps here.
Anyone thinking ahead to the 2021 draft? If thoughts of next year’s amateur draft are already dancing in your head, Kings of Kauffman’s Shawn Bauman has some ideas about possible targets for the Royals here.
Books. Avid reader of baseball books that I am, I’m looking forward to cracking open two new acquisitions about the KC Royals’ most recent glory days. Ninety Feet Away: The Story of the 2014 Kansas City Royals, and Keep the Line Moving: The Story of the 2015 Kansas City Royals, both by Kent Krause, await my attention. For those of you who haven’t read them, I’ll report back after I finish both.
That’s it for now. We’ll be back next week with more KC Royals Midweek Musings. Until then, stay safe and healthy.