Blue Jays: Jays invite some familiar faces to camp as coaches

Wild Card Series - Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays - Game One
Wild Card Series - Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays - Game One / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

Part of the fun of watching Blue Jays Spring Training is getting to see the young talent in the organization. This year, on top of getting eyes on the team's top prospects, fans will also see some older, more familiar faces making appearances in Dunedin.

But these new additions aren't showing up to play, they are coming to coach.

As reported by Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, the Jays are adding a few former major leaguers to the coaching ranks this spring.

Victor Martinez, the first name to emerge as a new coaching hire, never donned a Jays uniform. However, fans should be familiar with the five-time All-Star as he spent his entire 16-year career in the American League with Cleveland, Boston and Detroit.

Joining the club as a special assistant to baseball operations, the Jays are hopeful that the two-time Silver Slugger can help hitters at all levels of the organization. Per Davidi, Martinez will "be involved throughout the organization, including the major-league team, available to talk hitting, approach or anything else players want to ask him."

What former Blue Jays players are returning as coaches?

The team has also brought back former pitcher Paul Quantrill as a special assistant to baseball operations. Quantrill pitched for the Jays from 1996-2001, earning the lone All-Star nod of his 14-year career in his final season in Toronto.

Fan favorite Edwin Encarnación recently made his return to Dunedin as a guest instructor. The parrot-toting slugger spent eight seasons with the Jays and was part of the team that helped bring postseason baseball back to Toronto. He smashed 239 home runs and earned three All-Star appearances during his time with the club.

The final addition to the spring coaching roster is Jays' homegrown All-Star Pat Hentgen, who spent 10 of his 14 major league seasons in Toronto. The talented starting pitcher has a wealth of experience to offer current hurlers as a guest instructor. He was part of the early-90s World Series teams, garnered three All-Star invites, and won a Cy Young award in 1996.

So it looks like Encarnación and Hentgen will be around during Spring Training to impart their knowledge to the current generation of Blue Jays. But is there a possibility the two will find more prominent roles with the club when camp breaks?

While fans would love to see Hentgen return to his job as bullpen coach, the team has already filled that role for the coming season. There's a chance that both former Jays end up as minor league coaches or roving instructors.

A more likely scenario is that they are brought on as special assistants, much like Dante Bichette was previously, to work with hitters and pitchers on the big league club throughout the season.

However the coaching roles play out when Spring Training ends, there is no doubt that having so many former major league stars in Dunedin will help the team as they attempt to do some damage this season and make a deep run in the playoffs.

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