The call to the bigs finally comes for Omaha's Jirschele
Royals name Mike Jirschele, Don Wakamatsu to Ned Yost's staff for 2014
By JEFFREY FLANAGAN FS Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Mike Jirschele's long wait to get to the big leagues is finally over.
The Royals added Jirschele to their major league coaching staff along with former
Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu on Friday, two moves that will complete manager Ned Yost's staff for 2014.
Earlier this month, Dale Sveum was added to the staff and will serve as third-base coach while also overseeing infield instruction.
Wakamatsu most recently served as a special assignment scout for the Yankees. He was the Mariners' manager for 2009 and most of 2010 before becoming the bench coach for the Blue Jays in 2011-12. He will serve as Yost's bench coach and also be the catching instructor.
Jirschele's story is one of perseverance. He spent 13 seasons in the minor leagues as a player in the Royals' and Rangers' organizations and never got the call to the bigs. He also just finished his 14th season as manager of the Royals' top affiliate in Omaha, where he won two Pacific Coast League titles in the past three seasons.
I spoke with Jirschele last month about his long wait to get to the big leagues.
"I'm not saying I never think about it," he said then. "I think everyone dreams of getting to the big leagues whether you're a player or a coach. Hopefully, someday I will get the call to be part of the staff. But if I don't, I'll at least look back and say I did my job and worked my butt off."
Jirschele's role on the staff has yet to be determined.
The rest of Yost's staff will remain the same: Dave Eiland (pitching coach), Pedro Grifol (hitting coach), Rusty Kuntz (first-base coach/outfield/baserunning) and Doug Henry (bullpen coach).
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email firstname.lastname@example.org.