Blue Jays replace strength and conditioning coordinator Bryan King with Chris Joyner

Ramon Ortiz getting hurt must have been one of the worst moments of 2013 (and there were plenty of them). Seeing a grown man cry on the field after injuring himself throwing what was probably the last pitch of his career was just horrible. - USA TODAY Sports

According to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi, the Toronto Blue Jays have removed strength and conditioning coordinator Bryan King from his position, replacing him with Chris Joyner. Davidi also reports that the jobs of trainer George Poulis and assistant Mike Frostad are safe.

Beyond this move, Davidi wrote that the Blue Jays are now undergoing a "plan to visit their entire training program," stemming from the sheer amount of injuries that have occurred throughout the organization the past two seasons. According to Davidi, the major league club sent players to the disabled list 27 times in 2013, losing a total of 1380 player-games. Top prospects like Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna also spent time on the disabled list in 2013.

Bryan King, 34, played two seasons in the independent leagues before becoming a minor league strength coach for the Indians organization in 2004, as noted by the Blue Jays media guide. He was hired by the Blue Jays in 2007 as their minor league strength and conditioning coordinator before being promoted to the major league team in 2009.

His replacement, Chris Joyner, was an assistant strength and conditioning coordinator for the minor leagues this past season. According to his LinkedIn page, Joyner is a National Strength and Conditioning Association coach, and graduated from Minnesota State University with a Bachelor of Science in physical education and exercise science. He was first hired by the Blue Jays in 2002 as an intern in charge of their two New York-based minor league affiliates (Syracuse and Auburn) and was named as the minor league coordinator in 2003. After the 2006 season, Joyner was hired away by the Milwaukee Brewers, who gave him his first major league job. The Blue Jays hired King to replace him.

Joyner remained with the Brewers before leaving the organization. He returned to the Blue Jays as an assistant to the minor league strength and conditioning coordinator, responsible for the "design and implementation of in-season strength and conditioning programs for all players during Regular and Extended Spring Training, Gulf Coast League and Fall Instructional League." He was promoted to the assistant coordinator role in 2012.

The strength and conditioning coordinator position is not a very prominent role as much of his work is done behind closed doors and at stretches before the game, but I did find a video of Joyner talking about the importance of eating proper food and maintaining hydration:

I wonder if he'll pull a Dallas Eakins in the clubhouse.

I don't think many of us really know what direct influence a strength coach has with injury prevention compared to the trainers or any other factor. King wasn't at fault for all the injuries, nor will Joyner reduce the number to zero. But at least it is comforting to know that the Blue Jays front office is not just attributing the recent rash of injuries to bad luck in their organizational-wide review of player training and conditioning.

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