The Royals have reassigned first base coach Mitch Maier to the front office, naming him as the new director of baseball operations. The 37-year old had served as first base coach the previous two seasons and had served as the minor league outfield/base running coordinator before that. In a press release issued by the club, Maier said the move is “a great opportunity to grow within the game and grow within this organization.”
Aside from retiring manager Ned Yost, Maier is the second confirmed departure from last year’s coaching staff, joining bench coach Dale Sveum, who wanted to take on another role with the club that has yet to be specified. The Royals have yet to finalize their staff for next year, but quality control coach Pedro Grifol has confirmed he will return, and will likely be considered to replace Sveum as bench coach. Bullpen coach Vance Wilson is also expected to be a candidate for that role. Pitching coach Cal Eldred is also expected to return.
The Royals could also promote some minor league managers to join the staff such as Wilmington skipper Scott Thorman or Arizona Summer League manager Tony Pena, Jr. Mike Matheny could also decide to bring along some coaches he worked with in St. Louis, such as former hitting coach John Mabry, who is said to be close with Matheny.
As the new director of baseball operations, Maier will be involved in “all aspects of leadership”, according to Dayton Moore. He replaces Alec Zumwalt, who last held the position before being promoted to director of hitting development.