Toronto Blue Jays lose hitting coach Kevin Seitzer to Atlanta Braves


Some interesting news dropped out of the blue this morning, when it was reported by Mark Bowman of that the Atlanta Braves are set to announce the hiring of Kevin Seitzer as the team’s new hitting coach. Of course, that becomes an issue in these parts because Kevin Seitzer is currently the hitting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays.

After one year as the team’s hitting coach, having replaced Chad Mottola and Dwayne Murphy prior to the 2014 season, Seitzer had his ups and downs with the team, but had generally received some solid reviews in terms of his approach with the team. He was generally regarded as someone expected to return to his role in 2015, with only bullpen coach Bob Stanley being replaced.

However, there were indications in Toronto that the team may have been looking for something different as well. Adam Lind, while gaining showing strong improvements in his contact rates, indicated that Seitzer’s approach also played a part in his power numbers suffering in 2014.

Additionally, there were whispers a few weeks back that the Blue Jays had met with former Yankees’ hitting coach Kevin Long about taking on the position with Toronto. Those talks were characterized as nothing but exploratory on Toronto’s behalf, and nothing came of them. Long eventually signed on with the New York Mets to become their new hitting instructor.

That may have left a bad taste in Seitzer’s mouth and at the very least had him hedging his bets by interviewing for other positions around the league. As Minor Leaguer at Bluebird Banter notes, because of the nature of the 1-year contracts that the Blue Jays sign their coaches to, essentially making them year-to-year, there was no need for the Braves to request permission to talk with Seitzer for a lateral move to Atlanta.

That now leaves the Blue Jays in a position to find a suitable replacement for Kevin Seitzer. Eric Hinske came up in talks with the New York Yankees, but turned them down. Former Red Sox hitting coach Greg Colbrunn is still available, as is Dave Magadan. The Blue Jays could also look internally at Buffalo Bisons hitting coach Richie Hebner