The Toronto Blue Jays announced their 2018 minor league staff yesterday and there have been some interesting moves in the Jays’ organization as they try to develop some of the top prospects in the game into major leaguers. Some veteran organizational personnel remain but there are plenty of new faces to try to get to know. We’ll list the 2018 staff with their 2017 positions in brackets.
Manager: Bobby Meacham (unchanged)
Pitching Coach: Bob Stanley (unchanged)
Hitting Coach: Corey Hart (Dunedin Hitting Coach)
Position Coach: Devon White (Buffalo Hitting Coach)
Trainer: Bob Tarpey (NH Trainer)
Strength and Conditioning: Brian Pike (NH S&C)
Following a year in which the offense fell off a cliff, the Buffalo Bisons have a similar staff to last year with the manager and pitching coach remaining in their positions. 2017 Hitting Coach Devon White moves over to being a position coach while Corey Hart replaces him as the hitting coach. Hart was well regarded after last season in Dunedin. With the Blue Jays adding trainer Voon Chong to the major league staff, the highly regarded Bob Tarpey moves up to Buffalo while Brian Pike joins him from the New Hampshire staff in 2017.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats
Manager: John Schneider (Dunedin Manager)
Pitching Coach: Vince Horsman (unchanged)
Hitting Coach: Hunter Mense (new to the organization)
Position Coach: Andy Fermin (unchanged)
Trainer: Drew MacDonald (Lansing Trainer)
Strength and Conditioning: Ryan Maedel (Dunedin S&C)
Like the Buffalo Bisons, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats had a disappointing 2017 and see some new faces in 2018, starting with manager John Schneider, an up-and-comer in the Jays’ organization. Schneider managed the Dunedin Blue Jays to a Florida State League co-championship last year and added another title to his mantle after winning one with the Vancouver Canadians. Hunter Mense moves to the Jays’ system after being a hitting coach at Missouri and coaching in the Northwest League in the Padres organization last year. Vince Horsman, also a highly regarded coach, remains in New Hampshire as does Andy Fermin in his second year as a coach. Drew MacDonald moves up from Lansing and Ryan Maedel is also up from Dunedin.
Dunedin Blue Jays
Manager: Casey Candaele (new to the organization)
Pitching Coach: Mark Riggins (unchanged)
Hitting Coach: Donny Murphy (Lansing Hitting Coach)
Position Coach: Michael Abreu (unchanged)
Trainer: Dan Leja (Vancouver Trainer)
Strength and Conditioning: Kyle Edlhuber (not in organization)
The Blue Jays bring in former big leaguer Casey Candaele to manage their Dunedin farm team. Candaele was the first base coach for the Seattle Mariners last year and has decided to join the Blue Jays in their minor league system this year. Candaele, who turns 57 tomorrow, played parts of nine seasons in the majors, mostly as a utility man. Donny Murphy moves up from Lansing after seeing an outstanding offense there, working with several highly touted prospects (some of whom are no longer in the organization). Michael Abreu and Mark Riggins return while Dan Leja moves up from Vancouver last year and Kyle Edlhuber appears to have joined the organization.
Manager: Cesar Martin (unchanged)
Pitching Coach: Tony Caceres (Bluefield Pitching Coach)
Hitting Coach: Matt Young (new to the organization)
Position Coach: Dave Pano (Vancouver Hitting Coach)
Trainer: Caleb Daniel (Bluefield Trainer)
Strength and Conditioning: Aaron Spano (Bluefield S&C)
Cesar Martin returns as manager for the Lansing Lugnuts but the rest of the Lugnuts’ staff is brand new. Highly regarded Antonio (Tony) Caceres moves up, leaving Bluefield and manager Dennis Holmberg for the first time since I’ve been writing about the Jays’ minor league system. With Martin and Caceres, the Lugnuts have two Latin-American coaches on the staff. Matt Young joins the organization while Dave Pano moves up to Lansing after having been the Vancouver Hitting Coach last year. Caceres is joined by Caleb Daniel and Aaron Spano, both of whom worked with in Bluefield last year.
Manager: Dallas McPherson (new to the organization)
Pitching Coach: Jim Czaijkowski (unchanged)
Hitting Coach: Aaron Matthews (Buffalo Position Coach)
Trainer: Michael Rendon (new to the organization)
Strength and Conditioning: Pat Rosario (unchanged)
New to the organization is manager Dallas McPherson, 37, who makes his debut as a coach after a pro career that spanned five major league seasons with 139 big league games in which he hit .241/.292/.446 with 18 home runs in 139 games. Jim Czaijkowski remains in place as the pitching coach while Aaron Matthews moves from his role as the Position Coach in Buffalo last year to the Hitting Coach with Vancouver. Michael Rendon joins the organization as a Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach Pat Rosario returns.
Bluefield Blue Jays
Manager: Dennis Holmberg (unchanged)
Pitching Coach: Adam Bernero (GCL Assistant Pitching Coach)
Hitting Coach: Carlos Villalobos (unchanged)
Position Coach: Chris Shaeffer (Lansing Position Coach)
Trainer: Luke Greene (new to the organization)
Strength and Conditioning: Justin Batcher (new to the organization)
Fresh off being awarded the Mike Coolbaugh Award at the winter meetings (for “outstanding baseball work ethic, knowledge of the game and skill in mentoring young players on the field), Manager Dennis Holmberg returns to manage the Bluefield Blue Jays, a position he’s held since, well, time immemorial (seriously, the guy’s managed in the Jays’ system for almost 40). Adam Bernero was the GCL Blue Jays’ Assistant Pitching Coach last year after a seven year big league career that had him throw 376 major league innings and he moves up to Bluefield to take over for Antonio Caceres. Carlos Villalobos remains with the Bluefield Blue Jays for the second year while Chris Shaeffer moves down from Lansing to Bluefield to be the Position Coach. Luke Greene and Justin Batcher round out the staff.
GCL Blue Jays
Manager: Luis Hurtado (unchanged)
Pitching Coach: Rafael Lazo (unchanged)
Asst. Pitching Coach: Mark Worrell (new to the organization)
Hitting Coach: Paul Elliott (unchanged)
Position Coach: George Carroll (player/coach last year)
Assistant: Jesus Figueroa
Trainer: Jon Woodworth
Strength and Conditioning: Casey Callison
The GCL Blue Jays had a great year in 2017 and most of the staff is back unchanged with the exception of Mark Worrell taking the place of Adam Bernero as the Assistant Pitching Coach. Catcher George Carroll, who was a player/coach last year, takes a full-time coaching role as the Position Coach.
DSL Blue Jays
Field Coordinator: Pablo Cruz
Manager: John Tamargo (unchanged)
Pitching: Yoel Hernandez
Hitting: Julio Germosen
Position Coach: Jose Mateo
Trainer: Hiroki Yoshimoto
Asst. Trainer: Ysidro Reyes
Strength and Conditioning: Imbewer Alvarez
Asst. Strength and Conditioning: Robert Murdock
Minor League Coordinators
Field Coordinator: Eric Wedge
Pitching Coordinator: Jeff Ware
Hitting Coordinator: Guillermo Martinez
Catching Coordinator: Ken Huckaby
Infield Coordinator: Danny Solano
Latin America Player Advisor: Omar Malave
Senior Advisor, Pitching: Rick Langford
Rehab Pitching Coordinator: Darold Knowles
The Blue Jays have appointed Guillermo Martinez as the club’s hitting co-ordinator while Tim Raines moves to a Special Assistant position and Mike Mordecai, the assistant field coordinator last year, has taken over the role of quality control coach on the major league staff.
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