Blue Jays add ex-MLB pitcher to minor league coaching staff

Sep 12, 2020; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Eric Yardley (57) delivers
Sep 12, 2020; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Eric Yardley (57) delivers / Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Things have been quiet around the league, as they usually are around this time of year. Now that Christmas is upon us and the new year is right around the corner, things should start to pick up.

Sure, there have been a handful of minor league signings here and there, and most of the major league free agents are signing elsewhere, but other than that? There's not much.

However, there's a small amount of Blue Jays-related news, as the club is expected to add former right-handed pitcher Eric Yardley to its minor league coaching staff. Yardley, 33, posted on his Instagram that he was retiring from his playing career and joining the organization as a coach.

Sources tell Jays Journal that his role is going to be as an assistant pitching coach for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Blue Jays' Double-A affiliate.

Yardley's playing career comes to a close with 51 big league appearances under his belt. He spent time with both the Padres (2019, 2020) and Brewers (2021), posting a 3.52 ERA and 125 ERA+ along the way. He was perhaps best known for his funky sidearm delivery that was almost reminiscent of Adam Cimber's. Through and through, Yardley was a groundball expert, as he registered a whopping 60.3% GB rate during his big league career.

Notably, his last playing time in the big leagues came as a member of the Blue Jays. He spent most of the 2022 season with the Buffalo Bisons in Triple-A, which is where the familiarity comes between him and the organization.

Last season, Drew Hayes was the Fisher Cats' pitching coach while Anthony Gomez joined on as the club's bullpen coach. As of right now, the staff has not been formally announced. No announcement was made until February of 2023, so it's likely still going to be a while before we get any official word on next year.