Less than an hour after news broke that hitting coach Brook Jacoby would not be returning, it was reported that first base coach Tim Leiper will also be let go by the team.
According to Scott Mitchell of TSN, Blue Jays first base coach Tim Leiper will not be returning in 2019. This news comes less than an hour after the announcement (courtesy of John Lott of the Athletic) that hitting coach Brook Jacoby would be let go by the team. Mitchell summarized both reports in his breaking column.
Leiper, 52, has been with the organization since 2013 when he joined the team as a senior advisor for the minor league system. He has been in his most recent position, first base and outfield coach, since 2014.
The native of Whittier, California was always a fan favourite, garnering a significant following on Twitter among hardcore Blue Jays fans. A former Ottawa resident, he also has ties to Canadian baseball, having coached the 2011 Pan American Games national team that won a gold medal.
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As with Jacoby, it’s likely that this move wasn’t made due to the performance of Leiper over the past few years, but simply due to the fact that Charlie Montoyo, the recently minted Blue Jays manager, will like to handpick his own staff.
At this point, there’s no confirmation about who else will be retained, though there have been rumblings that pitching coach Pete Walker and third base coach Luis Rivera are the most likely to stick with the team. As with the rest of the coaching staff, Leiper was under contract through next season, however, it would appear that ownership is willing to eat the final year of these contracts in order to give Montoyo a fresh start.
While it’s somewhat disappointing to see him go, firing Leiper could be a better move in the long run, as it would allow Montoyo to coherently pick a staff of his own to lead this team for seasons to come.