Kansas City Monarchs Hire Justin Shafer As Pitching Coach

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Justin Shafer, a former major leaguer who won a league title with the Monarchs in 2021, has joined the club as pitching coach for the 2024 season.

“Justin is a guy I’ve had a great relationship with for a few years now,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “I trust him to take on a role like this. I think the guys are definitely going to buy in.”

Shafer and the Monarchs begin their 2024 season on May 10. The club’s home opener is Thursday, May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. See the team’s full schedule here.

The 31-year-old Shafer played in the major leagues for parts of three seasons. He suited up for the Blue Jays in 2018 and 2019 and played briefly for the Marlins in 2020. He owns 46 MLB strikeouts in 53.2 innings of work, all as a reliever.

Shafer was a starting pitcher with the Monarchs’ championship team in 2021. He had his contract transferred to the Chicago Cubs organization in June of that year but returned to Kansas City soon after.

The right-hander took the ball for Game 2 of the league finals that season, which the Monarchs won 7-5 over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks as part of an undefeated postseason.

Shafer takes the place of 2023 pitching coach Matt Hall, who is currently pitching in the Mexican League.

The Blue Jays drafted Shafer in the eighth round out of Florida, where he played for three seasons. He played in the prestigious Arizona Fall League in 2015 and 2016. In 2019, Shafer earned International League Mid-Season All-Star honors while with Triple-A Buffalo.

Check out the Monarchs’ 2024 roster here.

About the Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. 2024 will be their 21st season at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. This year, the Monarchs and the museum are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs in 1924.

About the American Association

The American Association of Professional Baseball is an MLB Partner League that began play in 2006. Teams in the league are not affiliated with any one MLB organization. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions of the United States. Its season runs from May to September and features players who are looking to showcase their talents for a chance to be signed by a major-league team.