The Kansas City Royals today announced their Major League coaching staff for the 2020 campaign. First-year manager Mike Matheny will be joined on the bench by Terry Bradshaw (hitting coach), Larry Carter (bullpen coach), Cal Eldred (pitching coach), Pedro Grifol (bench coach), Rusty Kuntz (first base coach), John Mabry (Major League coach) and Vance Wilson (third base coach). Additionally, the club announced that Rafael Belliard will move into Kuntz’s former role as a special assignment coach.
“I’m looking forward to working with this talented group of coaches,” Matheny said. “This group has a tremendous track record and all of these men have been dedicated to the game of baseball for a long time. We’re excited to get going.”
“Mike has assembled an extremely dedicated and talented coaching staff that is devoted to supporting and guiding the success of our players,” Royals Sr. Vice President-Baseball Operations/General Manager Dayton Moore said.
Carter, 54, will be in his 23rd season in the Royals’ organization, most recently serving as the club’s minor league pitching coordinator (2015-19). The 2014 Dick Howser Award winner has also coached at Omaha (2013-14), helping the Storm Chasers win back-to-back Triple A championships. He spent 11 seasons at the Double-A level with Wichita (2002-07) and Northwest Arkansas (2008-12) and also served as pitching coach at Wilmington (2000-01), Charleston (1999) and Lansing (1998).
Grifol, 50, will be in his eighth year in the organization, serving as the quality control/catching coach the last two seasons. He has worked with the club’s catchers since 2014 and has also been the hitting coach (2013-14) and a special assignment coach (2013). Prior to joining the Royals’ organization, Grifol spent 13 seasons in the Seattle organization, serving as an area scout, minor league manager, minor league director of operations and as a Major League coach in 2010.
Kuntz, 64, will return to a familiar role, beginning his third stint as the first base coach in 2020. He previously held the title from 2012-17 and 2008-10, while he served the organization as a Special Assistant to the General Manager/Quality Control the past two seasons and as the minor league outfield/baserunning coordinator from 2010-12. Prior to his time in Kansas City, Kuntz held various coaching positions with Houston (1987-88), Seattle (1989-92), Florida (1993-2001), Atlanta (2002) and Pittsburgh (2003-07).
Mabry, 49, joins the organization after serving as the St. Louis Cardinals’ hitting coach under Matheny, from 2013-18. Prior to that, he was St. Louis’ assistant hitting coach during the 2012 campaign. Before joining the coaching staff, Mabry assisted the Cards in various community relations initiatives after retiring as a player following the 2007 season, capping a Major League career that spanned 14 seasons.
Wilson, 46, will be in his third year on the Royals’ Major League coaching staff, serving as the bullpen coach the previous two seasons. He will begin his 10th year in the organization in 2020, also serving as a minor league manager with Class A Kane County (2011), Class A-Advanced Wilmington (2012-13) and Double-A Northwest Arkansas (2014-17).
Mike Jirschele and Dale Sveum, who were both part of the coaching staff in 2019, will remain with the organization and their assignments will be announced at a later date.