The Kansas City Royals announced the 2018 coaching staff on Tuesday, promoting from within the organization by naming Terry Bradshaw as the hitting coach, Cal Eldred as the pitching coach and Vance Wilson the new bullpen coach, while Pedro Grifol will continue to serve as the catching coach and take over the newly-created role of quality-control coach.
In October, the Royals announced that Dale Sveum will be the club’s bench coach in 2018 after serving on Ned Yost’s staff as the hitting coach from 2014-17. Mike Jirschele will return for his fifth season as third base coach. Mitch Maier will be the new full-time first base coach, after serving as the Royals’ minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator in 2017.
Bradshaw, 48, who has been in the Royals’ system since 2000, spent the last five seasons, 2013-17, as the Royals’ minor league hitting coordinator. Following a 10-year playing career, Bradshaw moved to the coaching ranks as the hitting coach for Charleston, 2000, Burlington, 2001, Wilmington, 2002-03, Omaha, 2004-09, and Northwest Arkansas, 2009-12. He played for the Royals in Omaha in 1998 before finishing his career with Montreal’s Triple-A team in Ottawa in 1999. He originally signed with St. Louis as a ninth-round pick in the 1990 First-Year Player Draft, and spent eight seasons in the Cardinals’ organization, including parts of two seasons, 1994-95, in the big leagues.
Eldred, 49, has spent the previous two seasons, 2016-17, in the Royals’ organization as an Assistant to the General Manager-Player Development. He served a similar role with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2013-15. A 14-year Major League veteran, Eldred recorded a career record of 86-74 in 341 career games, 192 starts, while pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers, 1991-99, Chicago White Sox, 2000-01, and Cardinals, 2003-05. He was Milwaukee’s first-round pick, 17th overall, in 1989 and twice led the American League in starts, 1993-94, and once in innings pitched, 1993.
Wilson, 44, served as the manager for Northwest Arkansas for the previous four seasons, 2014-17, and led the Naturals to back-to-back Texas League Championship Series appearances in 2015-16. He made his managerial debut with Kane County in 2011, before managing at Wilmington from 2012-13. He also managed in the Arizona Fall League in 2014, leading Peoria to the championship game. Wilson was a 44th-round pick of the New York Mets in the 1993 First-Year Player Draft, and spent parts of eight seasons in the big leagues with the Mets, 1999-04, and Detroit,(005-06, and was a member of the 2006 American League champion Tigers. Wilson signed with Kansas City in 2009 while recovering from his second Tommy John surgery.
Grifol returns for his sixth season in the organization, continuing to serve as the catching coach as well as in the newly-designed role of quality control coach.
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