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;
Feb 18, 2013; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays bullpen coachPat 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)
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
He was the bullpen coach in 2011
Team ambassador and special assistant to the Blue Jays organization
Mar 15, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; United States pitching coachGreg 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
Four time Cy Young Award winner (1992,1993, 1994, 1995)
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 coachDenis 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
MLB Pitcher from 1991-1994
Pitched for the Blue Jays, Indians and Expos
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