After two Blue Jays coaches were reportedly fired, a new report has surfaced that says that pitching coach Pete Walker is likely to return next season.
Though there was initially some doubt as to whether or not the rest of the coaching staff would return next season for the Toronto Blue Jays, a new report appears to have shed at least some light as to the future of one of the staff’s longest-tenured members.
Pete Walker, who has served as the pitching coach since 2012, is “very likely” to be back to finish up the final year of his contract, per Steve Phillips of TSN. Phillips also notes that an extension for Walker wouldn’t be surprising given the current status of his job.
Walker, 49, briefly played for the Blue Jays during his 10-year MLB career before joining the big club as a bullpen coach. He also served as the pitching coach for the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats during the 2011 season.
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Widely respected by both his fellow coaches and his players, Walker has established a good rapport with the majority of the young pitching staff on the roster. J.A. Happ credited him with helping a great deal during his first stint with the Blue Jays, and many other youngsters have expressed similar opinions.
However, Walker could quickly become the victim of the almost inevitable coaching turnover that has seen two of his colleagues lose their jobs in the last 24 hours. It’s not necessarilyi because they failed to perform, it’s simply a change that, for better or for worse, something like this needs to happen with a new manager taking the reins of the ball club. In most cases of a new manager being hired, the new skipper is given the opportunity to build their own coaching staff.
This is just a preliminary report, and while it could ultimately be telling, it’s just the beginning of what figures to be a long stretch of rumours and hirings.