The Royals have mutually agreed to part ways with pitching coach Dave Eiland, according to the Kansas City Star. Eiland has been with the team since 2011 and was pitching coach during their pennant runs in 2014 and 2015. Eiland previously earned a championship ring with the Yankees as their pitching coach in 2009.
Also departing are bench coach Don Wakamatsu, assistant hitting coach Brian Buchanan, and bullpen coach Doug Henry. Wakamatsu joined the Royals in 2013, Henry was promoted to bullpen coach in 2012, and Buchanan was in his first season as a big league coach after managing in the minors for the Royals. Wakamatsu previously managed the Seattle Mariners and was under consideration for the Rays head job in 2014.
Manager Ned Yost has already insisted he is returning for the 2018 season and has a contract that expires at the end of that year. There has been no official indication on the status of hitting coach Dale Sveum or third base coach Mike Jirschele. First base coach Rusty Kuntz had to be replaced in August by Mitch Maier after Kuntz had vision problems, and it is unclear if either will be back next year.
Also, all signs point to Rusty Kuntz not coming back on the field. He's been eager to take a roving job for years in the organization. And with his eye issues... Mitch Maier been groomed as replacement.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) October 2, 2017
The moves are a bit curious with Ned Yost already set to return next year. The Royals pitching staff did finish tenth in ERA, but the struggles came largely from vets like Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Trevor Cahill, and Kelvin Herrera. It seems strange that Ned will have many new faces on his coaching staff in what could be his last year as manager, but perhaps this signifies a chance in direction, and an attempt to focus more on youth and coaches who can develop young players.
Ned Yost will hold a press conference at 10:30 this morning.