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Blue Jays announce 2014 minor league coaching staff

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Gary Allenson is the one on the left.
Gary Allenson is the one on the left.
Harry How

The Blue Jays announced that the Buffalo Bisons will be getting a completely new coaching staff in 2014, led by manager Gary Allenson. Allenson will be joined in Buffalo by hitting coach Richie Hebner and pitching coach Randy St. Claire.

Gary Allenson joined the Blue Jays organization last season, hired on to manage double-A New Hampshire after Sal Fasano was re-assigned to the roving catching instructor role. Allenson has had experience managing in at the triple-A level, having managed Louisville, Ottawa, and Norfolk over eight seasons. Allenson, who will be turning 59 in February, played 14 games with the Blue Jays to end his career after becoming the Blue Jays' third-ever free agent acquisition in 1985 (following Luis Gomez in 1978 and Dennis Lamp in 1984).

Richie Hebner may be a familiar name to some Blue Jays fans, having previously managed the Syracuse Chiefs in 1995 and 1996. If you recall, he was one of a handful of coaches the Blue Jays picked to work with replacement players in 1995 during the players' strike. Hebner returned to the Blue Jays organization last season to serve as Allenson's hitting coach with the Fisher Cats.

Randy St. Claire only played two games with the Blue Jays in 1994 to end his career, but he is notable as one of the few players who have played for both the Jays and the Expos. St. Claire was the Expos' last pitching coach, and continued in that role with the Nationals until 2009. Last year, he was the pitching coach for the Mets' triple-A affiliate Las Vegas 51s.

In addition to the Bisons' announcements, the Blue Jays also announced that their roving instructors (Dane Johnson - pitching, Mike Barnett - hitting, Mike Mordecai - fielding, Tim Raines - outfield and baserunning, Sal Fasano - catching) will be remaining with the organization. This ends the speculation that Tim Raines could be in line for a major league job as the Blue Jays' extra coach.

Other notable moves:

  • Rich Miller, who was the Senior Roving Instructor in 2013, now becomes a Senior Advisor
  • 2013 Vancouver Canadians manager Clayton McCullough is now the Coordinator of Instruction
  • Bobby Meacham moves up from Dunedin to manage New Hampshire
  • Omar Malave, who took a season off from coaching as the Blue Jays' Latin Affairs Coordinator in 2013, will wear an uniform again in 2014 as the manager in Dunedin
  • Windsorite Stubby Clapp stays as the Dunedin Blue Jays' hitting coach
  • Haligonian Vince Horsman as the pitching coach remains in Lansing
  • Jon Nunnally changes jobs with Richie Hebner, returning to New Hampshire after one season in Buffalo
  • John Schneider, who managed the Canadians in 2011 until he had to take a leave of absence, will return to manage in Vancouver after one season with the Gulf Coast Blue Jays
  • Joining Schneider as the pitching coach in Vancouver will be former Blue Jays pitcher Jeff Ware
  • John Tamargo Jr. stays in Lansing, and long-time minor league manager Dennis Holmberg stays in Bluefield
  • Former Blue Jays catcher Ken Huckaby moves from Bluefield to Lansing
  • Pitching coach Jim Czajkowski moves from Vancouver to New Hampshire
  • Not seeing former Fisher Cats pitching coach Tom Signore's name on the list, I assume he has left the organization