KANSAS CITY -- The Royals announced their Minor League coaching staffs for 2018, and they will welcome a familiar name to manage their Double-A Northwest Arkansas affiliate: Mike Rojas, son of Royals Hall of Famer Cookie Rojas.Rojas will replace Vance Wilson, who was promoted to bullpen coach on Kansas City's
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals announced their Minor League coaching staffs for 2018, and they will welcome a familiar name to manage their Double-A Northwest Arkansas affiliate: Mike Rojas, son of Royals Hall of Famer Cookie Rojas.
Rojas will replace Vance Wilson, who was promoted to bullpen coach on Kansas City's Major League staff.
Other notable changes: Brian Buchanan, who was the Royals' assistant hitting coach under Dale Sveum, was reassigned to be Triple-A Omaha's hitting coach; and Doug Henry, who had been the Royals' bullpen coach, was reassigned to be Class A Advanced Wilmington's pitching coach. Both moves were expected.
Henry's manager will be Darryl Kennedy, who previously managed Wilmington in 2008 and '14. Kennedy takes over for Jamie Quirk, who left for unspecified reasons after two years at the helm.
Rookie-level Surprise will have a new manager in Tony Pena Jr., whose father, Tony, managed Kansas City from 2002-05.
Rojas, 54, joins the Royals after spending last season as the manager at Toledo, the Tigers' Triple-A affiliate. Rojas previously served as the Major League bullpen coach with the Mariners from 2014-15 and with the Tigers in 2011-13.
Brian Poldberg returns to Triple-A Omaha as the manager for the fifth straight season. He will be joined by pitching coach Andy Hawkins and Buchanan.
Rookie-level Burlington (N.C.) will have a new manager in Brooks Conrad, who played parts of six seasons in the Majors with Oakland (2008), Atlanta (2009-11), Milwaukee ('12), Tampa Bay ('12) and San Diego ('14). Carlos Martinez, in his 17th year in Kansas City's organization, will serve as Burlington's pitching coach for the seventh straight season. Nelson Liriano returns for his second stint as hitting coach in Burlington, where he previously held that position in 2014 and served as manager there from 2009-11.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.