Apr 14, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie (13) looks on from the dugout with hitting coach Dwayne Murphy (41) against the Baltimore Orioles at the Rogers Centre. The Orioles beat the Blue Jays 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
In news that is at least 50 percent surprising Dwayne Murphy and Chad Mottola will not be returning to their roles as coaches in 2014. Murphy who was the club’s first base coach after serving as hitting coach from 2010 through to 2012 will be retiring. Mottola however is simply not returning to his position. This is a strange development for a coach who seemed to be the golden boy hitting coach within the organization.
Apr 5, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays hitting coach Chad Mottola (39) before their game against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
He had often been praised for his work withplayers in the minors and got rave reviews for his work with Adam Lind and Travis Snider in Las Vegas, he even came up with the big club for a cameo in September of 2012. He appeared to also be making progress with some of the clubs younger more raw hitters and was even scheduled to work with Anthony Gose during the offseason per a tweet from Gregor Chisholm.
"Gose and Mottola had workouts planned during offseason. Gose went out of his way multiple times to praise Mottola’s help with new mechanics."
The rest of the coaching staff will remain in their current roles next season and no replacements have been named yet for either of the departing coaches. What this means for the club as a whole is hard to tell. Offense wasn’t exactly what held the Blue Jays back this season. Unless Motola had secretly been dressing up as J.P. Arencibia throughout the year this is not likely going to the be the answer to the club’s woes in 2013.
But in the meantime we await with baited breath for news about who will be replacing the departed coaches. The club has said they will not make any comments about the moves tonight, so for all you wondering why the Jays have fired their hitting coach and not their pitching coach you’ll have to wait till tomorrow to find out why.