photo: Alex Reyes and Jason Simontacchi (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher and long-time pitching coach Jason Simontacchi is leaving the organization to become the new assistant minor league pitching coordinator for the Kansas City Royals, according to information he shared on his Facebook page. The Springfield Cardinals pitching coach for the last three seasons has been working this winter as the pitching coach for Leones del Caracas in winter ball in Venezuela.
With the promotion of Memphis pitching coach Bryan Eversgerd to St. Louis bullpen coach, my guess was that Simontacchi would move up to the Triple-A assignment in 2018. However, a system-wide assignment, as it appears he will have with the Royals, would be a further step upward.
Simontacchi, 44, first joined the Cardinals player development staff as pitching coach of Class-A Peoria in 2012 and was named the Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Texas League Coach of the Year in 2017. In between, he worked with every one of a long list of Cardinals pitching prospects over the last six seasons, including during a stint in the Arizona Fall League in 2014.
As a right-handed pitcher, Simontacchi played four seasons in the big leagues, with the Cardinals from 2002 to 2004 and the Washington Nationals in 2007.
According to a source, the Cardinals are not yet ready to announce their player development assignments for 2018, but it now seems certain that the Double-A Cardinals will need a new leader for their pitching staff.
Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Strong Rotation, Improved Bullpen Pleases Springfield’s Simontacchi (exclusive interview from late August)
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