The Toronto Blue Jays announced their coaching staff and there is some good news for Bluebird Banter readers. The press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 8, 2010
BLUE JAYS COMPLETE COACHING STAFF FOR 2011
The TORONTO BLUE JAYS announce the following additions to the coaching staff of manager JOHN FARRELL for the 2011 season. Joining BRIAN BUTTERFIELD, Third Base Coach, & BRUCE WALTON, Pitching Coach, will be DON WAKAMATSU, Bench Coach, DWAYNE MURPHY, Hitting Coach, TOREY LOVULLO, First Base Coach & PAT HENTGEN, Bullpen Coach.
WAKAMATSU, 47, assumes the role of Bench Coach after serving most recently as the Seattle Mariners manager in 2009-10. The Hood River, Oregon native brings an extensive coaching background to the Blue Jays, having managed for six seasons in both the minor and major leagues, including Bench Coaching duties in Texas and Oakland. An 11th round pick by Cincinnati in 1985, WAKAMATSU reached the major leagues with the White Sox in 1991, playing 18 games, over the course of his 12 years as a professional catcher.
MURPHY, 55, returns to the role of Hitting Coach, marking his 2nd in the position and 3rd as a Blue Jays coach. The six–time Gold Glove Award winner was the Organizations Roving Minor League Hitting Instructor prior to his appointment in Toronto in 2008. Under his direction the 2010 Blue Jays led the major leagues with a franchise record 257 home runs, 46 more than runner-up Boston.
LOVULLO, 46, joins the Blue Jays after completing his 9th season as a minor league manager, most recently with Pawtucket, the Red Sox AAA affiliate. The University of California alumnus, spent parts of eight seasons in the major leagues as a player in a 13 year career from 1987-99, before spending eight seasons managing in the Cleveland Indians system.
HENTGEN, 41, makes his coaching debut after a stellar 14 year playing career that included 10 seasons in a Blue Jays uniform. In 1996 the right-hander posted a 20-10 record with a 3.22 ERA to capture the first Cy Young Award in Blue Jays history. HENTGEN will assume the role of Bullpen Coach for 2011, after spending the last seven seasons as the Blue Jays Club Ambassador and Special Assistant to the President and CEO.
Hugo: So, we knew Butterfield and Walton were returning, and Dwayne Murphy returns as hitting coach as well. Lovullo joins as first-base coach the Jays from the Red Sox organization, and it couldn't have been a surprise to see new skipper John Farrell bring along someone from that organization. Wakamatsu joins the organization after a tough 2010 managing the Seattle Mariners, but personally I'm happy to see him latch on with the Jays as he always seemed to me to know his baseball. And finally, Bluebird Banter friend Pat Hentgen joins the staff as bullpen coach and I couldn't be happier to see him get the job. All of a sudden it's making sense how knowledgeable he was about the Jays' young arms when Tom interviewed him. An interesting mix of returning coaches and new blood.