Manager Brian Poldberg is set to return for his fifth Pacific Coast League season in Omaha. And he’ll be heading up a staff that will feature only one new coach, the Storm Chasers announced on Wednesday.
Former Omaha outfielder Brian Buchanan will be Omaha’s new hitting coach, joining a staff that returns pitching coach Andy Hawkins, trainer Dave Iannicca, and strength and conditioning coach Phil Falco.
“We are thrilled to have Poley, Hawk, Dave and Phil return for the 2018 season, and also welcome Brian (Buchanan) back to Omaha,” Chasers president and general manager Martie Cordaro said. “All five bring extensive knowledge and experience, and we look forward to working with them and the Kansas City Royals organization during our 50th season in franchise history this year.”
Poldberg owns 1,158 career wins in 18 seasons as a minor league manager. Hawkins, a former MLB pitcher, will be in Omaha for the third straight summer. Buchanan, who played for Omaha in 2008-09, was the assistant hitting coach for Kansas City last season after spending 2016 at Northwest Arkansas.
The Chasers open their 50th season by meeting the Royals in a March 26 exhibition game at Werner Park before beginning the PCL regular season at home on April 5. Omaha’s 50-year affiliation with Kansas City, which began in 1969, is the longest in Triple-A baseball and third-longest in all the minors.