Report: Seitzer close to joining Blue Jays

Kevin Seitzer coached and played for the Kansas City Royals. (Ed Zurga/AP)
October 16, 2013, 11:41 AM

Former MLB player and Kansas City Royals hitting coach Kevin Seitzer is close to taking a job on the Toronto Blue Jays’ coaching staff, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reported Wednesday.

Seitzer was the Royals’ hitting coach when Toronto manager John Gibbons worked in Kansas City as the team’s bench coach. The Royals dismissed Seitzer after four seasons on the job last October.

The 51-year-old has spoken about the value of hitting the ball up the middle and to the opposite field, especially when down in the count. Last winter he told FOX Sports Kansas City that he doesn’t favour pull-happy approaches.

“Personally, I think it’s a recipe for disaster,” Seitzer said. “And there aren’t too many hitting coaches who wouldn’t agree. You start committing yourself too early on pitches and a lot of bad things can happen. You’ve got less time to react and you’re going to see a lot of foul balls or weak ground balls.”

Gibbons believes in hitting the ball up the middle and the opposite way when down in the count, sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi wrote this month.

“Just felt like the offence underperformed all year long,” Royals manager Ned Yost said at the time of Seitzer’s dismissal. “Kevin Seitzer has tremendous passion, tremendous energy, worked his tail off, but we just felt like there was more offence in there, so we felt like it was time to make a change.”

Seitzer played at the MLB level for 12 seasons, debuting with the Royals in 1986. He also played for the Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics and Cleveland Indians before retiring following the 1997 season.

Seitzer, a career .295/.375/.404 hitter, made all-star teams in 1987 and 1995.

The Blue Jays announced earlier in the month that hitting coaches Chad Mottola and Dwayne Murphy would not be returning for the 2014 season.

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