With the franchise-record scoreless streak still alive on Tuesday afternoon, and the Royals embroiled in off-field controversy, manager Ned Yost revealed more unpleasant news in a pregame session with reporters.
Rusty Kuntz, the club’s long-time first base coach, will be unable to continue in his current role because of ongoing vision issues.
“He’s really having trouble seeing,” Yost said. “He had eye surgery and he’s got a ‘flap’ in his eye and he’s having trouble seeing.”
More specifically, Yost said, the issue affects Kuntz’s peripheral vision. It has turned line-drive foul balls into dangerous moments.
Kuntz will continue to coach from the dugout for the rest of the season. On Tuesday, catching coach Pedro Grifol filled in at first base. Yost said the team would call up a full-time replacement from the minor leagues later this week.
Kuntz is in his sixth consecutive year as the Royals’ first-base coach. He also held the position from 2008 to 2010. In addition to his duties at first base, he coordinates the club’s running game and outfield defense.