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The data revolution behind the improvement of the dramatic Blue Jays coaching



TORONTO – The reshuffle of the Toronto Blue Jays training staff reflects the dizzying turmoil triggered by information sweeping baseball and technological progress, a data-based revolution that continues to replace experienced and successful coaches and managers.

Of the five managerial openings outside this season, three have been filled with budding managers who are fluent in analysis, with the Baltimore Orioles still looking for a new leap. The Los Angeles Angels, so far, are the only team that employs a former manager, settled on Brad Ausmus, who is preparing for a role by working in the front office of the club as assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Charlie Montoyo with the Blue Jays, Rocco Baldelli with the Minnesota Twins and Chris Woodward with all Texas Rangers for various levels according to new game prints from temporary managers, at least until now, reaching leaps like Joe Girardi, Mike Scioscia, Buck Showalter, John Gibbons, Paul Molitor, John Farrell and Jeff Banister remain on the sidelines.

Furthermore, the coaching staff transforms along the same tone, with the Blue Jays crew under Montoyo, for example, displaying four new arrivals to the big league, each under 40, two as young as 34. General manager Ross Atkins, during Wednesday's conference call, describe the general theme of what the team is looking for as, "first and foremost open minded."

"The innovation that occurs in today's games with information, with technology, everything changes rapidly. "It's at the forefront of every discussion," general manager Ross Atkins said during a conference call on Wednesday. "The nature of every open-minded person, who is very important to Charlie, and then equally important, of course no less important, is collaboration. People who are willing to do things together, don't want to stay in silos, don't want to say, & # 39; This is my area, I want to be responsible for this and nothing else. & # 39; The two things that we pushed very hard were collaboration and openness of mind. "

The coach hit Guillermo Martinez and bullpen coach Matt Buschmann were both 34 years old, league lead coach John Schneider was 38 while Premier League field coordinator Shelley Duncan was 39. They were matched by Montoyo, 55, coach 61 years old Dave Hudgens and one only one returned from staff last year, base-third coach Luis Rivera, 54, and pitching coach Pete Walker, who is 48 years old.

Stuck in the transition is coach DeMarlo Hale's bench, hitting coach Brook Jacoby, first base coach Tim Leiper, quality control coach Mike Mordecai, and, most jarring, bullpen coach Dane Johnson, compiled by the Blue Jays in 1984 and has been a coach in system since 2000.

During the sporting transition, some loyal organizations like Johnson viciously spit out of the system.

"That's a good question," Atkins said when asked how to balance the value of veterans like Johnson to the current baseball landscape. "Dane is a great professional baseball player. He is very hardworking, very passionate, I have a lot of respect for him, I know he will continue to do great things. Every situation is different and it is very valuable to us, its contribution, its experience, its commitment to the Blue Jays. All of that has many values. A very, very difficult decision to make that change. But the way Matt Buschmann completes the rest of our staff, finally, we think, is a better way to go. "

What did Buschmann bring to the table?

Ben Nicholson-Smith and Arden Zwelling brought fans into the Blue Jays and around MLB with news, analysis and interviews.

"His experience at the front office (assistant director of player development for the San Francisco Giants) was very interesting and would be very helpful for him in this role because he learned how to use the resources available to him and applied it as a coach," Atkins replied. "His passion for technology that takes place in and around not only breezes but in helping young baseball players and mature baseball players improve and truly realize all their potential is an elite. That is the most prominent. "

Atkins said the coaching staff last year had been since the last day of the 2018 season "free to talk to other clubs, and we want to make sure that is clear to other teams, to staff members and that will continue for people under contract." that the Blue Jays will "try to help them land with us in a significant way, or elsewhere."

They are good coaches who have a long track record of making players better, but, like Gibbons and many others, suddenly outside look inside. The old axiom in training is that work usually doesn't have a happy ending.

When asked how the new coaching staff would be different in using information than the old group, Atkins replied: "I'm sure this staff will collaborate, and that's really lacking in comparison. What I believe (about) is that these people will work together, they will have a sincere thirst for that information, because they are open-minded to try to do things differently. This really comes down to my confidence in their character, each has thirst and curiosity for all the information available to them. "

For coaches in a fast-changing game, they seem to be new words for life.


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