The leader of the defending Pacific Coast League runner-up Omaha Storm Chasers remains intact, as Mike Jirschele returns to his managerial post for an 11th-consecutive season. The Wisconsin native also managed Omaha from 1995-1997 and is a four-time winner of the Dick Howser Award (1992, 1994, 2005 and 2011) and the 2011 Mike Coolbaugh Award recipient. Larry Carter, who enters his 16th season in the Royals organization, will tutor the pitchers in Omaha after 11 seasons at the Double-A level, the last five with Northwest Arkansas. Tommy Gregg will serve his fifth season as the hitting coach. Dave Iannicca and Joey Greany return as the Storm Chasers trainer and strength and conditioning coach, respectively.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals return the only manager the franchise has ever known, Brian Poldberg, for a sixth straight season. Poldberg has led the Naturals to the playoffs in four of his five seasons and was named an All-Star in 2010 and 2011. Poldberg's staff will include pitching coach Jim Brower, who spent the past two seasons at Class A Kane County, and hitting coach Nelson Liriano, in his 12th season in the organization. Masa Koyanagi and David Kathmann will work as the trainer and strength and conditioning coach, respectively.
Vance Wilson returns for his second season as manager of the Class-A Advanced Wilmington Blue Rocks in 2013 after leading the Blue Rocks to the playoffs in 2012. Steve Luebber will remain as the pitching coach while Julio Bruno will be the hitting coach after working last season at Kane County. Trainer James Stone and strength and conditioning coach Adam Vish round out Wilson's staff.
2013 will mark the Royals inaugural season with the Lexington Legends as the club's South Atlantic League (A) affiliate. Lexington will be managed by Brian Buchanan, who skippered Kane County in 2012 after two seasons at Idaho Falls. Jerry Nyman moves from Idaho Falls to serve as the Legends pitching coach while new hitting coach Justin Gemoll spent 2012 with Burlington. Mark Keiser and Nate Dine will serve as the trainer and strength and conditioning coach, respectively.
Omar Ramirez will be on the bench as the manager of the Idaho Falls Chukars for his second straight season in 2013. Steve Merriman joins the Royals organization and will serve as the Chukars pitching coach. Merriman most recently was a pitching coach in the Arizona Diamondbacks system from 2007-09. Damon Hollins will be in his fourth season as a hitting coach, his first in Idaho Falls. The Chukars trainer and strength and conditioning coach have yet to be announced.
Tommy Shields will serve as the manager with Burlington (R) in the Appalachian League for the second straight season after leading the Royals to the 2012 championship series. Shields spent the previous seven seasons as the Atlanta Braves minor league infield coordinator. Carlos Martinez returns for his second season as Shields' pitching coach. Abraham Nunez, who served as a hitting coach with the Royals' Dominican Summer League club in 2012, will serve in the same capacity in Burlington. Trainer Saburo Hagihara moves to Burlington from Surprise while the B-Royals strength and conditioning coach has yet to be announced.
The Royals rookie league squad in Surprise, Ariz., will be managed by Darryl Kennedy for the fourth straight season. Kennedy's staff will include Mark Davis, who returns for his second season as pitching coach for Surprise after working the 2011 season as the minor league pitching coordinator; pitching coach/rehab coach Carlos Reyes, who joined the Royals in 2008; hitting coach Pedro Grifol, who comes to the Royals after 13 years with the Mariners, including 2012 as the manager of High Desert in the California League; coach and former Royals postseason hero Willie Aikens; trainer Robbie Oates, who joined the organization in 2012 as an intern; and strength and conditioning coach Jacob Campos.
Victor Baez will work his sixth year as the Dominican Academy field coordinator. Under the direction of first-year manager and former infield coachRamon Martinez, the remainder of the Dominican Summer League club's staff includes Rafael Roque (pitching); Miguel Bernard (coach); Miguel Garcia (coach); Onil Joseph (outfield); Sergio de Luna (coach); Martin Berroa (trainer); Manuel Plaza (trainer); Raymundo Sido (trainer); and Jose Rosario (strength and conditioning coach).
Coordinators and Roving positions:
Tony Tijerina enters his seventh year with KC and his third as minor league field coordinator.
Bill Fischer , a former Major League Pitching Coach with the Reds, Red Sox and Rays, will work his 66th year in professional baseball in 2013 as Senior Pitching Advisor. Fischer, who re-joined the organization in 2007, also worked with the club from 1975-1978 and in 1984.
2013 will be Terry Bradshaw's first as the Royals minor league hitting coordinator after nine seasons as the hitting coach at the Double and Triple-A levels.
Steve Foster , who served as the Royals Major League bullpen coach since 2009, was named the Royals minor league pitching coordinator on August 31, 2012.
Glenn Hubbard , a 10-year Major League veteran and a coach for the Atlanta Braves for 21 seasons, returns for his third year as the club's infield coordinator.
John Wathan returns for his 41st season in baseball, his 37th with the Royals, as a special assistant to player development/scouting.
Jose Castro will work as the minor league assistant hitting coordinator. He joins the organization from the Seattle Mariners where he served as the minor league hitting coordinator for the past five seasons, including 2010 when he worked in several roles including interim Major League hitting coach and was named Staff Member of the Year.
Former big leaguer and Major League hitting coach Milt Thompson joins Kansas City as the minor league bunting and baserunning coordinator. Thompson played 13 seasons in the Major Leagues from 1977-89 and has since worked 16 seasons as a hitting coach, including more than five seasons as the Phillies big league hitting coach which including the 2008 World Series championship campaign.
Chris DeLucia will serve his fourth season as the minor league medical coordinator in 2013.
Sean McQueeney will work his second season with the Royals organization as minor league rehab coordinator.
Tony Medina returns for his second year as the Latin America medical coordinator after working the previous eight years as a trainer at various levels.
Garrett Sherrill returned to the Royals prior to 2012 after two seasons with the San Francisco Giants and will again serve as the minor league strength and conditioning coordinator.
Luis Perez will serve as the Latin America strength and conditioning coordinator.
Nick Leto and Will Simon return as the manager of Arizona operations and minor league equipment manager, respectively.
Alvin Cuevas returns for his sixth season as manager of Dominican operations as well as Dominican Republic scouting supervisor.