Time For Blue Jays To Give Pete His Walking Papers


Now that we are moving into the middle of May it is time to have a look at some numbers and see where the Blue Jays can improve. The pitching staff has been a topic of concern for the fan base and with good reason, as they have posted a 4.66 ERA with a disastrous 1.434 WHIP as a group.

 These numbers are not only 13th worst out of 15 American League teams, but these numbers also ranks them 28 out of all 30 MLB teams.

I am sure when Pitching Coach Pete Walker went into spring training with this veteran group (holding the second highest average age of any staff in baseball (30.9 years of age)), he did not expect to coach a staff that is currently in the bottom 7% of ERA but that is the case here.

Change should be a reality at the Pitching Coach position if these results continue.  If there were to be change, here are three qualified and quality coaching prospects the Blue Jays could hire to replace Pete Walker;

Internal Solution

Feb 18, 2013; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays bullpen coach

Pat Hentgen

(41) during photo day at Florida Auto Exchange Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Pat Hentgen- Current Position Bullpen Coach (Toronto Blue Jays)

Player Experience

Pitched for the Blue Jays 10 of his 14 big-league seasons.

Won the Cy Young in 1996 as a Blue Jays.

Part of the 1993 World series team

Coaching Experience

He was the bullpen coach in 2011

Team ambassador and special assistant to the Blue Jays organization

External Solutions

Mar 15, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; United States pitching coach

Greg Maddux

(31) during the World Baseball Classic against Puerto Rico at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Maddux- Special Assistant for Texas Rangers

Player Experience

300 Game Winner

World Series Title 1995

Four time Cy Young Award winner (1992,1993, 1994, 1995)

Coaching Experience

2013 WBC Team USA Pitching Coach

Two season with the Rangers as Special Assistant to the General Manager after being hired on Nov. 29, 2011.

Mar. 9, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Canada pitching coach

Denis Boucher

holds his face after being hit by a water bottle thrown by a spectator in the ninth inning against Mexico during the World Baseball Classic at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Denis Boucher- Pitching Coach for Team Canada

Player Experience

MLB Pitcher from 1991-1994

Pitched for the Blue Jays, Indians and Expos

Coaching Experience

Ambassador and assistant to coaching staff for the Montreal Expos (1998 to 2005)

2013 WBC Team Canada Pitching Coach

 If John Gibbons has his say on Pete Walker’s replacement then the team will most likely promote Pat Hentgen as he is already part of Gibbons staff and this promotion would be a natural progression.

 If Alex Anthopoulos and John Gibbons wanted to find an external replacement then the number one target should be Greg Maddux. He was a HOF pitcher with a great reputation as a coach. He has worked with R.A at the WBC and his keep it simple approach may be what the team needs to turn this slump around.

The Blue Jays have good relationships with Team Canada Manager Ernie Witt. It is not far-fetched to think this could lead to the recommendation of Denis Boucher. He knows the organization, the country, and he has the experience that may make him a good fit.

Any of these three candidates deserve the opportunity to turn this staff around before the Blue Jays World Series aspirations are gone