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The data revolution behind the dramatic overhaul of the Blue Jays



TORONTO – The overhaul of the coaching staff in the Toronto Blue Jays reflects the reflexive vertigo caused by the widespread information and technological advances of baseball, a revolution based on data that continues to crowd out experienced and successful coaches and managers.

Of the five managerial discoveries in this offseason, three were filled with recruit managers fluent in analytics, and the Baltimore Orioles are still looking for a new skip. Los Angeles Angels, until now, are the only team that hired the former manager, who saddled Brad Ausmus, who prepared for the role by working in the front office of the club as GM Assistant Billy Eppler.

Charlie Montoyo with Blue Jays, Rocco Baldelli with the Minnesota twins and Chris Woodward with the Texas Rangers, who to varying degrees correspond to the new form of game manager, while, at least until this point, such omissions as Joe Girardi, Mike Skioska , Buck Showalter, John Gibbons, Paul Molitor, John Farrell and Jeff Banister remain on the sidelines.

Subsequently, coaching staffs are transformed in the same vein, for example, the Blue Jays team at Montoio, in which four newcomers to the big leagues participate, each of which is 40, two – 34 years. The general manager, Ross Atkins, during a conference on Wednesday, described a general theme that the team was looking for as “primarily open”.

“The innovation that occurs in today's game with information, technology, is changing rapidly. It was at the forefront of every discussion, ”said general manager Ross Atkins during a conference on Wednesday. “The open nature of each person, which was very important for Charlie, and then as important, certainly not less important, was cooperation. The guys who wanted to do something together, not wanting to remain in the silos, not wanting to say: "This is my area, I want to be accountable only for this and nothing more." We are very much moving forward and openness. "

Beat coach Guillermo Martinez and bullpen coach Matt Buschmann – 34 years, Major League coach John Schneider – 38, and Major League field coordinator Shelly Duncan – 39 years. They are balanced by 55-year-old Montoio, bench coach Dave Hudgens who is 61 and the only repatriate from last year's state, third base coach Louis Rivera, 54, and pitching coach Pete Walker, 48 years old.

Caught in the transition was rental coach DeMarlo Hale, attack coach Brooke Jacobi, first base coach Tim Leiper, quality control coach Mike Mordekai, and most irritable bullpen coach Dan Johnson, who was called by Blue Jays in 1984 and was a coach in the system with 2000

As sports crossings, some loyal organizers, such as Johnson, are being brutally forced out of the system.

“This is a great question,” said Atkins, when asked how to balance the value of veterans, such as Johnson, against the current baseball landscape. “Dane is a great baseball pro. He is very hardworking, very passionate, I have a lot of respect for him, I know that he will continue to do great things. Each situation is different, and it was very important for us, his contribution, his experience, his commitment to the Blue Jays. All this was of great value. Very, very difficult decision to make it. But the way Matt Bushmann supplemented the rest of our employees turned out to be, we thought, the best way. ”

What does Bushmann bring to the table?

Ben Nicholson-Smith and Arden Zwelling take fans to the Blue Jays and around MLB with news, analysis and interviews.

“His experience in the front office (assistant director of player development for the giants of San Francisco) is extremely interesting and will be very useful for him in this role when he learns how to use his resources and use them as a coach,” – answered Atkins. “His passion for technologies that occur not only in pitching, but also to help young baseball players and mature baseball players to improve and really realize their full potential, was the elite. This is what stood out the most. ”

Atkins said that last year's coaching staff since the last day of the 2018 season "is fluent with other clubs, and we wanted to make sure that this is clear for other teams, for employees, and this will continue for the guys who are on contract." He added that Blue Jays “will try to help them either with us to a great extent, or elsewhere.”

They are good coaches who have a long track record to make players better, but like Gibbons and many others, all of a sudden on an external background. An old axiom in coaching is that workers usually have no happy endings.

When asked how the new coaching staff will differ from the use of information than the old group, Atkins said: “I’m sure that this staff will work together, and this is really less about comparison. I am sure (sure) that these guys are going to work together, they will have a sincere thirst for this information, because they are trying to do something differently with an open mind. It really comes down to my confidence in their character, each of whom experiences this thirst and curiosity for all the information available to them. ”

For coaches in a fast-paced game, they seem like new words.


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