Former Royals shortstop Tony Pena, Jr. is one of three new managers for the Kansas City farm system, as he takes over the Arizona Summer League team in Surprise. Pena, who played for the Royals from 2007-2009, is the son of former Royals manager Tony Pena. Mark Davis will serve as pitching coach, Andre David as hitting coach, and Carlos Reyes will be the rehab pitching coordinator. Ramon Castro and Willie Aikens will also serve on the coaching staff.
Other new managers in the farm system includes Mike Rojas, who will run the AA squad in Northwest Arkansas. He takes over for Vance Wilson, who was tabbed to be the new Major League bullpen coach. Rojas is the son of Royals Hall of Famer Cookie Rojas and the brother of broadcaster Victor Rojas. Mike Rojas managed the Tigers’ AAA affiliate in Toledo last year, and has served as a bullpen coach with the Tigers and Mariners. Rojas will be joined by hitting coach Leon Roberts and pitching coach Steve Luebber.
Former Braves infielder Brooks Conrad also manages for the first time, taking over the rookie ball Burlington Royals. Conrad had a six-year career with the Braves, Athletics, Brewers, Rays, and Padres. He is joined by hitting coach Nelson Liriano and pitching coach Carlos Martinez.
Brian Poldberg returns for his fifth season as skipper of the Omaha Storm Chasers, where he led them to the 2014 AAA Championship. Brian Buchanan, who was the assistant hitting coach for the Royals last year, will serve as hitting coach, and Andy Hawkins returns as pitching coach.
Darryl Kennedy returns as the manager of the High A Wilmington Blue Rocks. Former big league catcher Chris Widger joins the Royals as a bench coach, with Abraham Nunez as hitting coach and Doug Henry as pitching coach. Lexingon will be managed by Scott Thorman with Mitch Stetter as pitching coach, Jesus Azuaje as hitting coach, and Glenn Hubbard as bench coach.
The advanced rookie ball club in Idaho Falls will bed led by manager Omar Ramirez with Damon Hollins as hitting coach and Jeff Suppan as pitching coach. The Dominican Royals will have a coaching staff that includes Victor Baez, Miguel Bernard, Ramon Martinez, Rafael Feliz, Julio Pimentel, Onil Joseph, Wilson Betimet, and Quilvio Veras.
The Royals will also be assisted by a number of coordinators and roving instructors. Former Cardinals pitcher Jason Simontacchi joins the organization as an assistant pitching coordinator, coming over from the St. Louis staff. Former manager John Wathan will continue to serve as Special Assistant to Player Development. Former bench coach Chino Cadahia will serve as a senior coordinator, and Eddie Rodriguez will serve as minor league field coordinator. Harry Spilman returns as Special Assisstant to Player Development and Bill Fischer and Larry Carter will serve as pitching advisors and coordinators. Former Braves Rafael Belliard and J.C. Boscan will also serve as minor league instructors.