Not Stubby Clapp
The Jays sent out a press release this afternoon announcing their full slate of minor league coaches and development staff for 2013, including some new hires and ones we’d already heard about– even though some of us *COUGH* may have not bothered to post anything about them (sorry, maple boners)– being made official.
It’s… interesting? Mildly?
I don’t know. But here’s what’s worth noting:
Most interestingly, I think, is the fact that Sal Fasano will no longer be managing the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, as he takes becomes the club’s minor league catching coordinator– a position that didn’t exist last year (according to the club’s as-yet-to-be-updated front office directory).
Mike Wilner quashes everybody’s initial thought, saying that he’s been told it’s not a demotion for Fasano, who until today appeared to have been moving up the organization’s managerial ranks. After a successful year with Lansing in 2010, Fasano moved up to New Hampshire, where he stayed the last two seasons, winning the Eastern League’s Manager of the Year award in 2011.
His name had come up as a potential managerial candidate following John Farrell’s departure (though obviously not from the Jays themselves), or as a possible member of the big league coaching staff. Moving out of the managerial ranks, then, seems a little odd, but with a new clock started on the big club’s manager, plus DeMarlo Hale seemingly the new next-in-line, perhaps the club felt it was no longer in their best interests to continue grooming Fasano– or perhaps Sal himself preferred a change from the singular grind of the minor league season.
Whatever the case, he certainly has expertise to offer the organization’s developing catchers.
Elsewhere, as we’ve awesomely heard, Tim Raines comes into the fold as the outfield/baserunning coordinator, replacing Rich Miller, who moves up to “senior roving instructor.” Maple icon Stubby Clapp also joins the organization, as the hitting coach at Dunedin, following six years in the Astros organization– including the last two, in which he was the manager of the Tri-City Valley Cats of the short-season NY-Penn League.
He’s not the only maple-hire that will maple-excite the maple dicks, of course, as Tim Leiper, who’ll coach for Canada in the WBC and has worked with the national team on numerous occasions, continues his 18-year minor league coaching career, as a senior advisor.
Other new hires– some we’d heard about, some not– include: former Jays hitting coach Mike Barnett, returning to the organization as the minor league hitting coordinator, following two years as the Houston Astros’ hitting coach; another ex-Astros coach, Bobby Meacham, who will manage at Dunedin after spending most of 2012 as the first base coach in Houston; Gary Allenson, who played 14 games for the 1985 Jays, takes over for Fasano as the Fisher Cats’ manager.
Allenson’s hitting coach in New Hampshire will be Richie Hebner, who posted a 119 OPS+ over an 18-year career that saw him accumulate an impressive-for-a-guy-you-never-hear-about 40 WAR, per FanGraphs, for the Pirates, Phillies, Mets, Tigers and Cubs from 1968 to 1985.
Hebner “has enjoyed two previous stints with Toronto serving as both a minor league manager and a roving hitting instructor,” the release tells us. “He was in voted Manager of the Year in the South Atlantic League in 1988 after leading the Blue Jays’ minor league affiliate, Myrtle Beach to a record of 83-56.” It adds that “he posted a .276 career batting average with 1,694 hits and participated in eight National League championship series.” Cool.
And former member of the big club’s staff, Omar Malave, moves up in the world, earning the title of “Latin Affairs Coordinator” after spending last season as one of the coaches in the Gulf Coast league.
See below for the full list of coaches, including the perhaps-odd absence of strength and conditioning coaches below Double-A…
Senior Roving Instructor
Latin Affairs Coordinator
Athletic Training Coordinator TBD
Strength & Conditioning
Asst. Strength & Conditioning Chris Joyner
Manager: Marty Brown
Pitching: Bob Stanley
Hitting: Jon Nunnally
Trainer: Voon Chong
S and C: Armando Gutierrez
Manager: Bobby Meacham
Pitching: Darold Knowles
Hitting: Stubby Clapp
Trainer: Shawn McDermott
Manager: Clayton McCullough
Pitching: Jim Czajkowski
Hitting: Dave Pano
Trainer: Reggie Mungrue
Manager: John Schneider
Pitching: Dave Williams
Hitting: Paul Elliott
Coach: Danny Solano
Coach: Guillermo Martinez
Trainer: Jon Woodworth