On Saturday, the KC Royals finally announced their 2013 minor league coaching staffs. As you might expect, there were some changes (but a few surprises).
In Triple-A Omaha, Mike Jirschele returns as manager for an 11th consecutive season. Last season, the Storm Chasers returned to the Pacific Coast League finals for a second consecutive season. Larry Carter, or LC as he is better known, finally earned a promotion to Triple-A in his 16th season with the Royals. He had been the pitching coach in Double-A for 11 seasons. Tommy Gregg returns as hitting coach for his fifth season.
Double-A NW Arkansas welcomes manager Steve Poldberg for his sixh season. Last season, the Naturals missed the postseason for the first time under him. He has two new coaches serving under him. Jim Brower is the new pitching coach, as he served in the same capacity the last two seasons with Low-A Kane County. He pitched in the big leagues beginning in 1999 and was with eight teams. Nelson Liriano is the new hitting coach in his 12th season with the Royals. Last season, he split his time as hitting coach with rookie level Surprise and then Wilmington.
In Wilmington, Vance Wilson returns for his second season as manager. Last season, the Blue Rocks reached the postseason for the first time since 2009 as the second half Northern Division champs (won 37 of their final 70 games). Steve Luebber (shocking to me) returns for his seventh straight season as the Blue Rocks pitching coach. The new addition is hitting coach Julio Bruno, who served in the same capacity in 2012 with Low-A Kane County. The Cougars had the fifth fewest strikeouts in the Midwest League, as they hit .250 as a team.
In its first season as a Royals Low-A affiliate, Lexington will be managed by Brian Buchanan, who managed Kane County last season. Jerry Nyman will be his new pitching coach after serving that capacity with rookie level Idaho Falls. Justin Gemoll is the new hitting coach after serving in that same capacity with Burlington (he also spent a few seasons in Wilmington).
*Here are the rest of the affiliate coaching staffs via the Royals press release: