Results tagged ‘ Rusty Kuntz ’

Royals announce hitting coach Kevin Seitzer will not return in 2013

The Kansas City Royals and Manager Ned Yost announced today that the contract of hitting coach Kevin Seitzer will not be renewed for the 2013 season.  The remainder of the coaching staff will return next season: bench coach Chino Cadahia, pitching coach Dave Eiland, first base coach Rusty Kuntz and third base coach Eddie Rodriguez.  The Royals will also need to fill the bullpen coach position after naming Steve Foster the club’s Special Assistant to GM/Minor League Pitching Coordinator on August 31.

The Royals plan to hire a hitting coach and a bullpen coach as a later date.

Ned Yost media session: September 15

Kuntz to work with Instructional League squad

Rusty Kuntz will travel to Arizona tomorrow to mentor young outfielders and work with players on Kansas City’s Instructional League team.  Kuntz will return to his role as a Special Assistant to the General Manager for Player Development officially following the 2010 season.  Omaha manager Mike Jirschele, who has been with the club since Friday as an additional coach, will assume first base coaching duties for the remainder of the season. 

Yost wants to see players arrive in Kansas City as a polished product and with less need for development once they get here.  He believes that Kuntz can help that process as Yost mentioned that Rusty is one of the best outfielder and baserunning coaches he’s ever seen.

Naturals battle for Texas League crown

The NW Arkansas Naturals are facing Midland in a best-of-five series for the Texas League Championship.  Game one is tonight in Springdale.  Yost is pleased for the squad and believes that the core belief in winning can transition to any level.  He talked about his son, Ned IV, who is currently coaching with the Helena Brewers, a Pioneer League playoff entrant.  The elder Yost believes that a team should feel the same level of accomplishment in winning their minor league title as they would in winning a World Series.  The goal is to be the best in that respective league.

Davies delivers

Kyle Davies is having another strong September.  He’s 2-0 this month and 9-1 in his last 10 September starts.  Yost was asked about Davies’ success and whether he can continue it, no matter what month the calendar says.  Yost has seen progress since the All-Star Break, noting that the pitcher has been duplicating his mechanics since the mid-July break.  

New Kansas City manager Ned Yost meets with the media

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Royals Manager Ned Yost had his first press conference today in front of a standing room only contingent of media in the Kauffman Stadium interview room.

Yost has been following Kansas City’s Double-A affiliate, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, for the last week   General Manager Dayton Moore contacted Yost about the managing job on Thursday morning.  After accepting the job, he sifted through possible lineups at his Springfield, Mo., hotel room.  Yost was awake until 3:30 this morning.  He took a two-hour nap and was up at 5:30 for the drive to Kansas City!  He doesn’t anticipate major radical changes in the lineup at this time. 

Yost_takes_Field.jpgYost described himself as a person who has a knack for motivating players.  He wants to work heavily with individual players at first.  While Trey Hillman was a hands on manager, Yost is not.  He said that Trey Hillman did a great job of getting players prepared every day and that the players have been a class act.  The club is a little shell-shocked at the moment.  Yost’s main job at the moment is to get the players to leave everything they have on the field every day.  He believes that this club is more advanced than the club that he inherited in Milwaukee and that they are not that far away from turning things around.   

Yost stated that 85 percent of his managing philosophy comes from Bobby Cox, who he worked for in Atlanta.  The other 15 percent comes from what Yost learned as Milwaukee’s manager. 

He knows that the Royals have ingredients for success in their minor league system.  Yost believes that Mike Moustakas will be a “big-time Major League player”.  He also mentioned that Milwaukee (where he managed previously) stockpiled young power hitters like Prince Fielder, while the Royals are stockpiling young power pitchers including Aaron Crow and Mike Montgomery.

Yost_Coaches.jpgYost’s philosophy on coaching is to have one coach totally in charge of the infield and one totally in charge of the outfield.  Rusty Kuntz is back as the first base coach and will coach the outfielders, a position he held in 2008 and 2009.  Yost emphasized the importance of bringing Kuntz back.  Eddie Rodriguez will shift to the third base coaching box.  He will also be the infield coach.  Rodriguez speaks fluent Spanish and Yost believes that will factor into Rodriguez’ work with infielders Alberto Callaspo and Yuniesky Betancourt.

Yost believes that this is an attractive job.  He is up for the challenge and understands the frustration of the fan base.  He has full confidence that he can do the job.  He added that George Brett (who celebrates a birthday on Saturday) called him from Italy and wished him well.

 

Baseball FUNdamentals

The early days of Spring Training are dedicated to the fundamentals. Bunting, sliding, and defense are a few of the drills being emphasized in Surprise. Let’s take a look:

First base coach Rusty Kuntz specializes in teaching baserunning. He had everyone take off their shoes for this fun drill…it looks like some of the guys were taken back to their Slip ‘n Slide days! (Left – Willie Bloomquist, right – Billy Butler, below right – Alex Gordon)

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Every player has been working on getting the bunt down…including Kila Ka’aihue.

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The outfielders worked with Kuntz on technique (below left). Coco Crisp later spent some time fielding batting practice.

 

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Crisp and his teammates were all smiles as they took some cuts in the cage.

 

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