Royals hire fired Cubs manager Dale Sveum as coach
Royals hire Dale Sveum, recently fired by the Cubs, but who will be the bench coach?
By JEFFREY FLANAGANFS Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Within three days of being fired as manager of the
Chicago Cubs, Dale Sveum found a new job with an old friend --
Royals skipper Ned Yost.
The Royals announced Thursday that Sveum will join Yost's staff and be in charge of infield instruction, a position formerly held by third base coach Eddie Rodriguez, who will not be asked to return to the organization.
The Royals also did not renew the contract of bench coach Chino Cadahia on Thursday, though Cadahia has been offered an opportunity to be reassigned within the organization. Cadahia left the club in late August to tend to a family matter, an issue that he continues to deal with.
The Royals therefore still have one opening on the staff, as hitting coach Pedro Grifol, pitching coach Dave Eiland, outfield/first base coach Rusty Kuntz and bullpen coach Doug Henry all were renewed.
The vacancy would seem to be a natural fit for Omaha manager Mike Jirschele, who has won two Pacific Coast League titles in the last three years. But sources indicate the Royals are leaning toward a candidate outside the organization, perhaps someone still involved in the playoffs.
Sveum, 49, was Yost's bench coach and third base coach during his three years in Milwaukee. It was Sveum who replaced Yost with the Brewers for the final 12 games of 2008 when Yost was fired.
Sveum guided the Brewers into the playoffs, where they lost in the National League Division Series to the Phillies.
Sveum stayed with the Brewers after the playoff defeat and after the club hired Ken Macha as manager in 2009. Sveum served as the team's hitting coach the next three seasons.
Sveum then took over as manager of the Cubs in 2012 and 2013, and finished 127-197.
Sveum won't necessarily become Yost's bench coach again. That position may be filled with the candidate who fills the remaining coaching staff vacancy.
Yost said Monday that he had spoken with Sveum on Sunday night, after Sveum learned he had been let go by the Cubs.
"He was handling it fine," Yost said.
The decision to fire Rodriguez was a somewhat curious one. Rodriguez appeared to handle the high-pressure job of coaching third base well for the majority of the season, and seemed to make sound decisions, for the most part, to either send runners home or hold them.
Of course, Royals fans likely will remember Rodriguez for one game in particular -- the infamous game in Cleveland that the Royals lost when Rodriguez held, or tried to hold, runner David Lough at third after Alcides Escobar singled near the right-field line in the ninth inning.
Lough, the tying run, would have scored easily even if the throw home had been on target, which it wasn't -- it was far off line. But the Indians then got Lough, who initially ran through Rodriguez's stop sign before turning back toward third, in a rundown and recorded the out.
Fans were outraged at the time but to Rodriguez's credit, he fully admitted he made a mistake afterward.
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.