After a slow December for the club, January is suddenly becoming a bit more interesting for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Earlier today, we find out that Colby Rasmus has been told to prepare for a trade. Now, we hear that Toronto has reassigned bullpen coach Pat Hentgen and replaced him with Bob Stanley for the upcoming season, according to the following tweet from Brendan Kennedy.
#bluejays announce that Pat Hentgen has been reassigned w/in org to better care for his ailing father. Bob Stanley promoted to bullpen coach
— Brendan Kennedy (@BKennedyStar) January 4, 2014
A follow-up tweet from Mike Wilner would seem to indicate that this was not necessarily a club decision or following along with any other philosophical changes the Blue Jays may be instilling this winter, but rather a family issue.
Hentgen will be sorely missed. Very sorry to hear of father's health issues. Mr. H. is a constant presence, especially in spring. #Bluejays
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) January 4, 2014
Hentgen returned to the Blue Jays as their bullpen coach prior to the 2013 season, a role he also held the role in 2011, when he was also forced to step down due to a personal issue.
It was hard to argue with his results that Hentgen received from his bullpen arms in 2013. The Blue Jay relievers placed 9th in ERA and 3rd in strike-outs while throwing the 3rd most relief innings in all of baseball last season.
Hentgen, a 14-year veteran who spent 10 years with the Blue Jays, amassed a 131-112 record with a 4.32 ERA and a 5.6 K/9 ratio. His Cy Young award in 1996 was the first in Toronto Blue Jays team history.
Hentgen will be replaced Bob Stanley, who has served as the Blue Jays Triple-A pitching coach over the last three seasons, 2011-2012 in Las Vegas and 2013 in Buffalo, his first coaching roles. Stanley spent 13 years in Major League Baseball, all with the Boston Red Sox. In 637 games (85 starts), Stanley posted a 115-97 record and a 3.64 ERA.