Could Blue Jays Be Close To Hiring A New Hitting Coach?


November 22, 2011; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher Aaron Crow (43) and hitting coach Kevin Seitzer (36) model the new changes to the team uniforms for 2012 at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY SportsThe Blue Jays shocked the Toronto baseball world when they announced that hitting coach Chad Mottola would not be brought back for the 2014 season. It certainly drew a collective “what” from Blue Jays fans, including our own Justin Jay, who wondered aloud why the ax fell on Mottola but not other members of the coaching staff.

Well, after two weeks of an exhaustive search for a replacement, it looks like John Gibbons may have his man.

According to Bob Dutton from the Kansas City Star, via Twitter, it looks like the Blue Jays may be close to naming former Royals hitting coach Kevin Seitzer to the open seat in Toronto.

The 51-year-old Seitzer has previously served in the same capacity with two other clubs. In 2007, he lasted nearly four months with the Arizona Diamondbacks before their inability to buy into his plan resulted his replacement by Rick Shu. He had significantly better success from 2009-2012, serving as the Royals’ hitting instructor. He is credited with having a big role in helping Alex Gordon make the transition from washout prospect to an All-Star. However, his contract was not renewed after the 2012 season.

His time in Kansas City was not without its share of controversy. It was rumored that manager Ned Yost disliked Seitzer’s approach with hitters, citing his desire for batters to hit up the middle and to opposite fields. Yost felt that this approach worked for Seitzer as a hitter because he was a guy that hit for average, but that it detracted from his line-up that was based on hitter with significantly more power.

His selection by Gibbons would be a logical fit, as Gibbons was a bench coach for Kansas City from 2008 through 2011, so both men are familiar with one another. Toronto has some hitters in the line-up that could benefit from a different, contact base approach (ahem, J.P. Arencibia), and Seitzer could be viewed as a guy instrumental in helping them change their approach.

Seitzer spent 12 seasons in the Major Leagues, suiting up for the Royals (6 years), Brewers (5 years), Indians (2 years), and Athletics (1 year) during his career. He finished with a .295 career batting average, a .375 OBP, and lifetime bWAR of 28.7.