I don’t know if you’re familiar with the work of Doug Fox. Doug is the owner and operator behind the popular website FutureBlueJays.com. Doug actually wrote a book which you should read if you are a baseball history buff like me. He was one of the first people to alert us about Schneider and his tenure with the Blue Jays.
Doug did a solid job chronicling Schneider’s journey through the Minor Leagues in a 2018 article on his website. We know Schneider managed Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Cavan Biggio, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr as they were coming up through the Minor Leagues. He has also won in the majority of the Minor League levels he has coached at. The one level where he was not as successful was in Low-A Lansing where the team went 69-73 in 2016.
There was a belief among a lot of people that John Schneider was being groomed to take over as a manager for the Toronto Blue Jays in the not-so-distant future. He progressed year over year just like the top prospects in the organization and after the New Hampshire Fisher Cats won the Eastern League Championship in 2018, the progression for Bo, Guerrero Jr., and Schneider would have been Buffalo for the 2019 season.
Has Toronto Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider done enough to become the team’s manager permanently for the seasons to come?
In 2019, Schneider would be the first to be promoted to the big league club and although he played in Triple A as a player, he would skip Triple A Buffalo and go to Toronto as a Quality Control Coach under new manager Charlie Montoyo. That season, Schneider would be working with Catcher Danny Jansen and he himself would get some big-league tutelage under Montoyo and his staff. Bichette, Biggio, and Guerrero Jr. would follow not long after that.
Fast forward to the 2021 season where Schneider would be promoted to Bench Coach and Dave Hudgens would move into a hitting strategist position. Schneider would hold that position as you know until this past July.
The Blue Jays were 46-42 when they decided to move on from Charlie Montoyo. They are now 68-57. They are 22 and 16 under John Schneider and currently occupy the third AL Wild Card spot, holding a 1.5-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles. There are definitely holes on this club and you have to give Schneider some credit for trying to make it work through aggressive base running and solid bullpen and bench management. Remember the time where he used Cavan Biggio as a decoy for George Springer?
The coaching staff may need to be refreshed for the 2023 season. The Blue Jays statistically may have a very solid offence but when it counts, the bats sometimes go stone cold. You’ve seen Bichette, Biggio, and Teoscar Hernadnez regress during the 2022 season offensively. I can’t put the offensive cold streaks on John Schneider. I can put it on the hitting department which consists of Hudgens, Guillermo Martinez, and Hunter Mense though.
The Blue Jays starting pitching going down the stretch for sure will be a cause for concern. Mitch White is still young but has a lot of potential. Yusei Kikuchi has been one of the biggest contractual letdowns in club history as it stands today. Schneider seems to now be running him out there when he has no other choice. Ross Stripling, Jose Berrios, and Kevin Gausman have showed signs of excellence even though Berrios has struggled at times. Alek Manoah has been unreal but you worry about his innings and his emotions down the stretch. Manoah has been a lot more vocal during this season then he was in 2021. He has been excellent to this point in 2022 and should be in the race for the Cy Young Award.
Schneider is a blue-collar guy and Toronto fans love their blue-collar people. Google John McDonald. If the Blue Jays make the Playoffs, I believe Schneider will be the manager for the 2023 season and beyond. Schneider should have the opportunity to appoint his own coaching staff.
If they do not make the playoffs and the team completely regresses in September, then Mark Shapiro should clean house completely including his general manager and potentially interim manager John Schneider.