The Kansas City Royals have announced the 2015 field staff for the back-to-back Triple-A national champion Omaha Storm Chasers, headlined by the return of Brian Poldberg as manager. Tommy Gregg will also return as hitting coach while the newcomer to the coaching staff will be pitching coach Al Nipper.
In his first season at the Triple-A level, Poldberg guided the Storm Chasers to a second straight Triple-A National Championship in 2014. He became only the second Triple-A manager in Kansas City Royals history to win a league championship in his first season, the other being Jack McKeon in 1969, as he claimed Omaha's third PCL championship in the last four years. He is a resident of Carter Lake, Iowa.
"The entire Royals organization had a great season, and we have to wait to see what our team will look like but we are getting ready to try to repeat that success," Poldberg said. "It will be great to be managing at home again. We had some ups and downs in my first year, but we had a little luck and everything seemed to work out for us, so we were able to finish strong and win it all."
Gregg rejoins the Storm Chasers for a seventh straight season as hitting coach. A former Kansas City Royals pitching coach during the 2001-2002 seasons, Nipper comes to Omaha after spending 2014 as the pitching coach for the Toledo Mud Hens, Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, and has been coaching professionally since 1992. Nipper replaces Larry Carter, who was named the Royals new Minor League Pitching Coordinator.
"Tommy has had great success in Omaha, and has done a tremendous job with the hitters, so I am really looking forward to having him back," Poldberg said. "I got to know Al when he was the big league pitching coach when I worked with the bullpen, and I got to see his knowledge and experience. Every coach has their different ways, but I don't foresee any big adjustment, so I am excited to work with him."
Athletic trainer Dave Iannicca will spend his fifth straight season at Werner Park, while strength and conditioning coach Joe Greany returns to Omaha after spending last year with the Wilmington Blue Rocks, the Royals Class A Advanced affiliate. Greany worked with the Storm Chasers during the 2012 season.