Hall of Famer George Brett is returning to the dugout as the Royals’ interim hitting coach, with Pedro Grifol also joining Kansas City’s coaching staff as a special assignment coach, the club announced on Thursday.
Former hitting coaches Jack Maloof and Andre David have been reassigned to the Minor Leagues.
“Obviously things have not gone as we would have expected, and in light of the downturn in offensive production and poor results, we’ve decided to make a change,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a statement.
The Royals enter Thursday night’s game against the Cardinals on an eight-game losing streak and winners in only four of their last 23 games. The Royals rank eighth in batting average and 10th in on-base percentage in the American League, and their power has been lacking. Kansas City ranks near the bottom of the league in runs (13th) and has hit the fewest home runs (28), which is 14 fewer than the Twins, who have the second fewest.
Brett, 60, is the Royals’ all-time hit leader with 3,154 during his career from 1973-93. He is the only player in Major League history to win batting titles in three decades, winning the AL crown in 1976, ’80 and ’90. His No. 5 was retired by the organization on May 14, 1994, and he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.
Brett has served as a vice president of baseball operations since his retirement and has worked on the field in Spring Training, but this is his first in-season coaching role.
“I’m thankful that this organization has one of the greatest hitters and, more importantly, one of the greatest competitors our game has ever seen in George Brett, and he has accepted our offer to join the coaching staff on an interim basis,” Moore said.
– MLB.com –