Royals name Minor League coaches

Royals name Minor League coaches

KANSAS CITY -- Throwing strikes? Bill Fischer knows all about that. In 1962 for the Kansas City Athletics, he pitched 84 1/3 consecutive innings without giving up a base on balls.

That broke Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson's 1913 record of 68 innings. Now that's something that Fischer can pass along to the Royals' young pitchers.

Fischer, in his 60th year in pro baseball, will become the Royals' senior pitching advisor to player development. He joins the Royals from the Atlanta Braves, also the former home of general manager Dayton Moore and director of player development J.J. Picollo.

The Royals can use some control guidance after leading the American League last season with 637 walks and 85 wild pitches.

And here's something that Fischer can teach the lads to avoid: grooving a 2-2 fastball to a great hitter, like he did in 1963 to Mickey Mantle. The ball almost became the first fair ball ever hit out of Yankee Stadium, striking the facade near the top of the right-field roof. "The hardest ball I ever hit," Mantle said. If the ball had not banged the facade, estimates on the home run's eventual length varied from 620-734 feet.

Fischer's KC connection comes not only from the A's. He was the Royals' Minor League pitching instructor from 1975-78 and also in 1984.

His appointment came Thursday as the Royals announced their Minor League staff assignments throughout the organization. Among them:

Tony Tijerina will manage Double-A Wichita, succeeding Frank White, who has moved into the KC front office. Tijerina spent the last 16 seasons with the New York Mets.

John Mizerock, interim manager of the Royals before Tony Pena was hired in 2002, gets back to managing with Class A Wilmington. Darryl Kennedy moves from the Texas Rangers' organization to manage the new rookie team at Burlington, N.C.

Returning managers are Mike Jirschele, Triple-A Omaha; Jim Gabella, Class A Burlington, Iowa; Brian Rupp, Rookie Idaho Falls, and Lloyd Simmons, Rookie Arizona.

Jeff Garber will continue to supervise the instructional staff as the field coordinator. Joe Jones will be the special assistant to player development.

Ryan Stoneberg takes over strength and conditioning, succeeding Ty Hill who has moved to the Major League club.

The assignments announced Thursday:

Omaha (AAA) -- Jirschele; Tom Burgmeier, pitching coach; Terry Bradshaw, hitting coach; Jeff Stevenson, trainer.

Wichita (AA) -- Tijerina; Larry Carter, pitching coach; Tommy Gregg, hitting coach; Chris Delucia, trainer.

Wilmington (A) -- Mizerock; Nelson Liriano, hitting coach; Mark Stubblefield, trainer.

Burlington, Iowa (A) -- Gabella; Steve Luebber, pitching coach; Ryan Long, hitting coach; Yoshi Kitaura, trainer.

Idaho Falls (Rookie) -- Rupp; Patrick Anderson, hitting coach.

Burlington, N.C. (Rookie) -- Kennedy; Jose Bautista, pitching coach; Jon Williams, hitting coach; David Iannicca, trainer.

ARIZONA (Rookie) -- Simmons; Mark Davis, pitching coach; Julio Bruno, hitting coach; Bob Allen, rehabilitation coach; Tony Medina, trainer.

Minor League roving positions -- Garber, field coordinator and outfield; Mike Mason, pitching; Andre David, hitting; Ron Clark, infield; Benny Cadahia, catching; John Wathan, bunting and baserunning; Mark Harris, coach; Stoneberg, strength and conditioning.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.