TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays gathered coaching staff Charlie Montoyo by promoting John Schneider, this year's Eastern League double-A manager, to the position of major league coach with an emphasis on developing a club catcher.
The addition of Schneider, part of the announcement of the entire staff late Tuesday, limited the big turnaround of the group working under John Gibbons who had left, with pitching coach Pete Walker and third base coach Luis Rivera the only one returning from the staff.
Hitting coach Brook Jacoby, first base coach Team Leiper and bullpen coach Dane Johnson, a member of the organization since 2000, were all fired. Highly respected bench coach DeMarlo Hale continues to explore other opportunities but will have a job with the Blue Jays if he chooses to return, while quality control coach Mike Mordecai is likely to be moved into the organization.
Schneider, who led Dunedin's single-A to the Florida State League title in 2017 and doubled A-New Hampshire to last season's championship, joined new coach Guillermo Martinez as the club's two internal promotions.
The rest of the interesting coaching staff from the Blue Jays management team admired from afar, with Montoyo coming from the Tampa Bay Rays, bench coach Dave Hudgens from the Houston Astros, first base coach Mike Budzinski from the Indian Cleveland, bullpen coach Matt Buschmann from the San Francisco Giants and field coordinator Premier League Shelley Duncan of Arizona Diamondbacks.
Schneider, 38, has been a coach in the Blue Jays system for 11 years after six years with the club as a catcher, topping out at triple-A Syracuse.
Having managed many young players and the club's prospects for great success over the past three years, including left-handed Ryan Borucki, true Sean-Reid Foley, catcher Danny Jansen, third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., shortstop Bo Bichette and second baseman Cavan Biggio, he offers bridges familiar to those who transition to the big league.
To a lesser extent, 34-year-old Martinez, who began his coaching career in the Blue Jays system in 2012-13, was left to spend four years on the Chicago Cubs system, and returned this year as a hit coordinator. .
Buffering some of Martinez's relative experiences is Hudgens, 61, who came after four years as a coach for the Astros.
Walker and Rivera, each returning for the seventh season in Blue Jays staff, provide important continuity for team players who return together with skills that are considered good in their respective roles.
Duncan's role as the main league field coordinator is new to the Blue Jays, replacing the quality control position he has had over the past two seasons. The exact nature of the position was not explained by the club in its release, but the position of quality control was centered around the link between the clubhouse and front office, advanced planning and filling in other training gaps that were needed.