Blue Jays notebook: Atkins’ assistant leaves for Braves promotion

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins. (Nathan Denette/CP)

TORONTO – Longtime scout and front office executive Perry Minasian is leaving the Toronto Blue Jays for a promotion with the Atlanta Braves, an industry source told Sportsnet.

A member of the organization since 2009, when he was hired a major-league scout, he heads to the National League club to work as director of player personnel. Bob Nightengale of USA Today first reported the news on Twitter.

Minasian was promoted to director of pro scouting when Alex Anthopoulos took over as general manager in 2010 and served in the role until last September, when he became a special assistant to GM Ross Atkins.

During his years running the pro scouting department, he was one of the most trusted voices in Anthopoulos’ front office working alongside assistant GMs Tony LaCava and Andrew Tinnish, and was instrumental in many of the decisions that helped end the club’s 21-year post-season drought in 2015.

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SPRING SITE UNSCATHED: The Blue Jays spring training facilities in Dunedin, Fla., suffered little more than cosmetic damage after Hurricane Irma tore through the Tampa Bay area Sunday.

“We have some netting down and we had a strength and conditioning storage unit that moved a bit, but other than that the families and players that stayed there are already starting to go home, safe and unharmed,” said general manager Ross Atkins. “We weathered the storm as well as we could have hoped.”

Several Blue Jays players and employees have either or both family and homes in Florida or Latin America, making the past several days waiting for Irma a tense period.

“These guys have been incredible because they’ve remained focused, they’ve rallied around one another, they’ve stayed in touch with their families, they’ve stayed in touch with us,” said Atkins. “They really have been empathetic and at the same time, extremely focused on their jobs.”

SHORT HOPS: Russell Martin hit a couple of home runs to centre field during early batting practice Monday and manager John Gibbons said the catcher could return from his left oblique strain in the next few days. Hitting was the primary test for Martin but he’ll also catch a bullpen session before he comes back. … Closer Roberto Osuna and outfielder Michael Saunders have each left the team on paternity. Placement on the paternity list allows players to be away for three days and the team to call up someone in their place, but there’s no need for that with rosters expanded in September. … Steve Pearce continues to experience lower-back stiffness and might need another day or two before being able to return.