The Kansas City Royals have announced the minor league coaching staffs for the 2011 season. The Royals also named their minor league coordinators for next season.
The leader of the coaching staff at Triple-A Omaha remains intact, as Mike Jirschele returns to his managerial post for the ninth consecutive season, the first at the club’s brand-new stadium in Sarpy County (Neb.). The Wisconsin native also managed the club from 1995-1997 and has served as an additional coach at the Major League level in September. Doug Henry will tutor the pitchers at Omaha for the second straight season while Tommy Gregg will serve his third season as the hitting coach. Dale Gilbert, in his ninth season in the Royals organization, will work as the Omaha trainer after joining the club for the second half of 2010.
The Texas League champion Northwest Arkansas Naturals return league Manager of the Year Brian Poldberg at the helm for the fourth straight season. Poldberg has led the Naturals to the playoffs in each of his three seasons and was named an All-Star in 2010. Poldberg’s staff will include pitching coach Larry Carter, who enters his 14th season in the Royals organization and 10th at the Double-A level, and 2010 Texas League All-Star Terry Bradshaw, who will tutor the hitters at Double-A for the third consecutive year. In addition, Dave Iannicca, who was trainer of the Wilmington Blue Rocks from 2008-2010 will move to Springdale next season.
Brian Rupp will return as the manager of the Class-A Advanced Wilmington Blue Rocks in 2011 after leading the club to the Carolina League playoffs in 2009. Steve Luebber will remain as the pitching coach while Justin Gemoll continues to work with the hitters at Wilmington. Trainer Mark Stubblefield joins Rupp’s staff in Wilmington after spending 2010 with Burlington (A).
The Royals shifted their Midwest League affiliate to the Kane County (Ill.) Cougars for the 2011 season. Kane County will be managed by Vance Wilson, who caught in the Majors for eight seasons before retiring during Royals Spring Training in 2010. Newcomer Jim Brower will work as Wilson’s pitching coach at Kane County. Brower pitched for nine seasons in the Majors from 1999-2007 with the Indians, Reds, Expos, Giants, Braves, Orioles, Padres and Yankees before retiring during the 2008 season. Damon Hollins, a former outfielder who played professional both in Major League Baseball and in Japan, will work with the Cougar hitters in 2011 after serving as a player/coach with Burlington (R) last season. James Stone will shift from Burlington (R) to Kane County and serve as the team trainer.
Brian Buchanan, a five-year Major Leaguer, will begin his second season on the bench as the manager of Idaho Falls. Jerry Nyman, who coached for Burlington (A) in 2009 and 2010, will serve on Buchanan’s staff as pitching coach in 2011. Omar Ramirez will tutor the hitters at Idaho Falls after filling the same role in 2010 at Burlington (A). Trainer Masa Koyanagi will be in his fourth season in Idaho Falls.
Nelson Liriano will manage the Royals’ rookie level club at Burlington (NC) for the third straight season in 2011. He led the club to a playoff berth in 2010. Bobby St. Pierre also returns as pitching coach for his fourth year. Jon Williams will work with the hitters.
The Royals rookie league squad in Surprise, Ariz., will be managed by Darryl Kennedy for the second straight season. Kennedy’s staff will include Carlos Martinez, who returns as a pitching coach for Surprise after two seasons working with the hurlers at Idaho Falls and Burlington (A); pitching coach/rehab coach Carlos Reyes, who joined the Royals in 2008; hitting coach Andre David, who served as the Royals’ Major League hitting coach for parts of 2005 and 2006; hitting coach Julio Bruno, who was in the same capacity with Idaho Falls in 2010; and trainer Tony Medina, the trainer at Northwest Arkansas in 2010.
Coordinators and Roving positions:
Tony Tijerina enters his fifth year with KC and his first as minor league field coordinator after spending the past three seasons as assistant field coordinator and catching coordinator.
Bill Fischer, a former Major League Pitching Coach with the Reds, Red Sox and Rays, will work his 64th year in professional baseball in 2011 as Senior Pitching Advisor. Fischer, who re-joined the organization in 2007, also worked with the club from 1975-1978 and in 1984.
2011 will be Jack Maloof’s fourth season with the Royals as a special assistant to player development. Maloof will also serve as hitting coordinator.
Rusty Kuntz, after serving in 2008-2009 and for the final four months of 2010 on the Royals Major League staff as first base coach, will shift to the role of special assistant to general manager/player development.
Mark Davis will take on a new role in 2011 as the minor league pitching coordinator after working the previous five seasons as pitching coach for the Surprise Royals.
Chris DeLucia, trainer for Northwest Arkansas in 2009, will serve his second season as the minor league medical coordinator in 2011.
Ryan Stoneberg returns for his 10th season with the Royals and fifth as minor league strength and conditioning coordinator.
Tim Scheierman will work his second season as the minor league rehab coordinator.
Royals name Tony Tijerina Minor League Field Coordinator and Mark Davis Minor League Pitching Coordinator
The Kansas City Royals have named Tony Tijerina as the club’s Minor League Field Coordinator and Mark Davis as Minor League Pitching Coordinator. Tijerina replaces Doug Sisson, who was named to the Royals’ Major League staff as the first base coach on October 21.
Tijerina joined the Royals organization in 2007 as the manager for Double-A Wichita. The past three seasons he served as Kansas City’s assistant minor league field coordinator and catching coordinator. Prior to joining the Royals, the Texas Tech University alum spent 16 seasons with the New York Mets, the first six as a catcher in the minor leagues after being drafted in the 13th round in 1991. Tijerina then worked 10 years in the Mets system, the final two campaigns in 2005 and 2006 as the club’s minor league field coordinator. Tijerina resides in Newark Valley, N.Y., with his wife, Linda, and daughter, Lauren.
Davis, the 1989 National League Cy Young award winner with the San Diego Padres, has served the Royals as the rookie league pitching coach at Surprise from 2006-2010. He was honored with the 2009 Dick Howser Award, presented to a player development associate for outstanding contributions to the organization. Prior to joining the Kansas City organization, he had worked as a coach in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization since 1999 including serving as the Major League pitching coach for the final half of 2004 and the entire 2005 season. A 16-year Major League veteran, Davis posted a 51-84 record and a 4.17 ERA with 96 saves, pitching for the Royals from 1990-1992. He resides in Scottsdale, Ariz., with his wife, Candy. The couple has two daughters and two sons.
Bill Fischer will now serve as the organization’s Senior Pitching Advisor. 2011 will be Fischer’s 64th year in professional baseball.
The Royals have finalized the club’s 2011 Major League coaching staff by naming Doug Sisson as first base coach. Sisson will replace Rusty Kuntz who was named as Special Assistant to General Manager/Player Development on September 15. The remainder of the 2010 staff will remain intact for next season.
Sisson has spent the past three seasons as the Royals’ Minor League Field Coordinator. He began his coaching career in 1991 and has made minor league managerial stops in the Rangers, Expos and Angels organizations. Sisson joined Kansas City prior to the 2008 campaign after a successful two-year stint as associate head coach for the University of Georgia baseball team, which advanced to the College World Series in 2006. Sisson and his wife, Crickett, have two daughters, Tori and Delaney, and reside in Athens, Ga.
2011 Kansas City Royals Coaching Staff:
Manager – Ned Yost, Bench Coach – John Gibbons, Pitching Coach – Bob McClure, Hitting Coach – Kevin Seitzer, First Base Coach – Doug Sisson, Third Base Coach – Eddie Rodriguez, Bullpen Coach – Steve Foster.
Here’s another interactive opportunity for fans to vote for a Royal…for the second-straight year, first baseman Billy Butler is a candidate for the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service by an Athlete.
The award is presented in partnership with All Stars Helping Kids, a national nonprofit founded by NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott. Butler joins a list of other impressive nominees from across the sports world, including C.C. Sabathia, Paul Pierce and Drew Brees. Past recipients of Jefferson Awards for Public Service include Oprah Winfrey, Colin Powell, Lance Armstrong and Bill Gates.
The Royals are calling on fans to vote for Butler for this prestigious honor. Fans may text Butler’s Jefferson Award number – 05 – to 99158 or vote online at www.allstarshelpingkids.org/teammates/index.html. Voting ends December 31, but there is no limit to the number of votes per individual.
Butler is one of the club’s community leaders and works extensively with the Bishop Sullivan Center, one of the largest providers of emergency assistance in the Kansas City area. The 24-year-old just completed the third season of his Hit-It-A-Ton campaign, a matching program in which fans and area companies can join the Butlers in donating food to the center for each of his home runs.
Outfielder David DeJesus will be a featured guest at Kansas City’s Ability Day again this year. Individuals and families are invited to learn what agencies, organizations and providers can do for them and their loved ones living with disabilities. Many fun and interesting activities are planned, including cycling, soccer, bowling, gymnastics golf, baseball and ballroom dancing.
The event is this Sunday, October 17 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at ‘The View’ Community Center, 13500 Byars Road in Grandview. There is no charge and walk-up registration is available.
The nominations for MLB.com’s “This Year in Baseball” awards have been announced. Kansas City closer Joakim Soria is up for two MLB-wide awards: “Closer of the Year” and “Dependable Player of the Year”.
Soria was dominant in 2010, posting a 1.78 ERA while converting 43 of 46 save chances. The 43 saves rank fourth in club history. Soria made his second A.L. All-Star team and converted 36 save opportunities in a row at one point, topping Jeff Montgomery’s previous club record of 24 straight. He also joined Dan Quisenberry as the only Royals with two seasons of 40+ saves.
Let’s vote for Joakim! Just follow this link and look for Soria’s picture under “Closer of the Year” and “Dependable Player of the Year”.
The Royals announced today the club has acquired right-handed pitcher Kevin Pucetas as the player to be named to complete the trade that sent outfielder Jose Guillen to the San Francisco Giants on August 13. Pucetas was added to the Royals’ 40-man roster.
The 25-year old Pucetas (puh-SEH-tahs) is 47-20 with a 3.73 ERA in 120 career minor league outings, including 116 starts, in five seasons in the Giants system. San Francisco’s 17th-round pick in 2006 out of Limestone College was 5-7 for Triple-A Fresno in 2010, posting a 5.69 ERA in 26 starts. Born and raised in Spartanburg, S.C., Pucetas was named Minor League Baseball’s Most Spectacular Pitcher in 2007 after compiling a 15-4 record with a 1.87 ERA in 27 games (23 starts) for Class A Augusta before capturing California League Pitcher of the Year honors with San Jose in 2008 (10-2, 3.02 ERA in 23 starts). A three-time minor league All-Star and 2008 Futures Game participant, the six-foot-four, 225-pound right-hander has finished either first or second in his league in ERA in three of his five minor league campaigns.
Sporting Generosity, an organization designed to identify the contributions to the community made by professional athletes and organizations alike, has named Billy Butler the October 2010 Player of the Month.
Butler joins a list of honorees that includes NFL Hall of Famer Art Monk and NBA All-Star Al Horford.
Butler, Kansas City’s 2010 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, has been involved in community events since his debut with the club in 2007. Billy and his wife Katie lead the “Hit-It-A-Ton” program, which helps feed the hungry in the Kansas City area. The couple donates money for each of Billy’s home runs. Donating fans have the opportunity to earn tickets to a Royals home game and autographed memorabilia, as well as attend a picnic event with the Butlers. For more information on the Hit-It-A-Ton program, visit www.bishopsullivan.org/hit-it-a-ton.aspx.
For more information on Billy’s honor from Sporting Generosity, please visit www.sportinggenerosity.com/butler.html .
Local media members and former Royals were among the bowlers on hand last night at the KC Sports Media Challenge. FOX Sports Kansas City’s Ryan Lefebvre led the effort, which collected money and supplies for the Salvation Army’s Honk ‘n Holler program and for children in Haiti. It was a fun-filled night at Lucky Strike, even for this blogger who needed a late rally to avoid the “Pin’s Best Friend” trophy!
Royal alum Jim Eisenreich took home the top individual honor. The winning team, sponsored by Northwestern Mutual, John Goodwin Office, was anchored by alum Mike Boddicker and Kansas City Star columnist Sam Mellinger. Congrats to Sam on the team honor. He lost a head-to-head match with Mike Swanson, the club’s VP of Communications and Broadcasting. Swanee reeled off several strikes at the end of game two to take bragging rights away from Mellinger.
Do you have what it takes to entertain with the best? Are you ready to show your team spirit? The Royals will be holding auditions for the 2011 K Crew on Saturday, November 6 at Kauffman Stadium. If you feel you have the style, skill and enthusiasm to be a member of the premier MLB interactive team, this is your chance to show us!
The K Crew will be in its fifth season as a MLB entertainment team, and the Royals are eager to select individuals that will demonstrate excellent entertainment and performance ability and a highly enthusiastic personality. In addition to providing entertainment at home games, the K Crew is called upon to make promotional appearances and participate in community and charity events.
It’s your time to shine, so come out to this year’s K Crew auditions. The deadline to register is Monday, November 1. Make sure to fill out all the necessary paperwork to ensure your spot. Registration information can be found on the Official K Crew Web page. For more information, call 816-504-4433 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you at auditions. Good Luck!