Royals shakeup includes Sveum replacing Grifol as hitting coach

The Kansas City Royals shook up their coaching staff Thursday in an attempt to jumpstart their failing offense, making Dale Sveum the hitting coach and Mike Jirschele their third base coach.

Dale Sveum (left) is Kansas City's sixth hitting coach in the past three seasons.

Joy R. Absalon / USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With Royals hitting coach Pedro Grifol being reassigned, many Royals fans likely are hoping that George Brett will come running to the rescue again.

Not going to happen.

While Royals general manager Dayton Moore stopped short of saying the Royals reached out and asked Brett to return again as the team's hitting coach, Moore told FOX Sports Kansas City by phone Thursday afternoon, "Let me put it this way: He has made it very clear he is very content with his present role."

Brett, the team's vice president of baseball operations, joined Grifol as the team's hitting coaches last May 30 after Jack Maloof and Andre David were reassigned. Brett made it clear at that time he would be the coach only on a temporary basis, and he stepped away from that job in July.



"George and I have regular conversations, about the team, about the offense, about everything," Moore said. "Right now he is just very cemented in his present lifestyle."

Grifol remained the hitting coach until Thursday, when he was reassigned to be the team's catching instructor. Grifol was a minor-league catcher for nine seasons. Dale Sveum, the team's third-base coach, will take over as hitting coach. Mike Jirschele will become the new third-base coach.

Under Grifol, the Royals were last in the American League in runs, home runs and OPS.

In the past week, manager Ned Yost has become increasingly frustratred with the team's offense.

"Our whole team revolves around the offense," Yost said. "... And right now we're just not hitting."

"It's just a little bit of reshuffling," Moore added. "It's just trying to get a different voice in there to see if that will help.

"We are very grateful for what Pedro has done in that position since he took over last season. He is a very knowledgeable baseball man."

Moore indicated Sveum will remain the hitting coach for the rest of the 2014 season.

"It's no secret we have been searching for the right formula," Moore said. "Dale has a proven record, and as I mentioned earlier, we're hoping that a new voice will help this team."

Sveum will become the sixth hitting coach in the past three seasons for the Royals — Kevin Seitzer in 2012; Maloof, David, Grifol, Brett in 2013; and Grifol and Sveum this season.

"People can spin that any way they want," Moore said, "but obviously we're searching and looking for answers. We couldn't just stand still at this point."

Sveum was the Brewers' hitting coach from 2009-11. Under Sveum, the Brewers ranked in the top three in the league in homers each season he was there.

Of course, Sveum had Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder on those teams.

You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email him at

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