it has been a busy week in Toronto Blue Jays land. A blockbuster trade made official, a new/old manager arrives in John Gibbons and a familiar face in Pat Hengten could be added to his staff. So let’s get to it!
The Jays have yet to announce who will join John Gibbons as part of his coaching staff. There was some buzz earlier in the week on Twitter that former player Frank Catalanotto may be on the short list for a position having played for Gibbons. The “Cat” has been coaching the Team Italy National Team. In a previous interview I conducted with Catalanotto I asked him if he had any aspirations to manage in the major leagues.
“I don’t have any aspirations to manage in the major leagues but I do think I’d make a good coach.”
As well, earlier in the week former Jays pitcher and bullpen coach Pat Hentgen was on Sportsnet 590 The Fan where he stated he enjoys his current role with the Blue Jays however it would be hard to turn down John Gibbons if he extended him an invitation to be the Jays pitching coach.
Canadian hot corner:
John Gibbons began his first full season as Blue Jays Manager in 2005 he had another hardnosed Canadian at the hot corner in Manitoba native Corey Koskie. The canuck would play only 96 games for the Jays after an injury riddled season. Fast forward to 2013 and John Gibbons will have another hardnosed canuck manning the hot corner in Brett Lawrie.
The often criticized Blue Jays first baseman Adam Lind played for John Gibbons during parts of three seasons between 2006 and 2008. Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen was part of the bullpen for Gibbons in 2006 and 2007. Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista was acquired by the Jays in 2008 but Gibbons had already been given his walking papers when the transaction took place. Gibbons also was the bench coach for the Kansas City Royals during Melky Cabrera’s breakout season in 2011.
Where are they now?:
John Gibbons managed over 600 games for the Blue Jays with some forgettable names on his rosters during that tenure. After reading the rosters you can’t help but ask “Where are they now” – Ken Huckaby, Frank Menechino, John Ford-Griffin, Howie Clark, Tomo Ohka, Ty Taubenheim and Josh Towers.
Will the real Izturis please stand up:
It was reported that Toronto had signed former Blue Jay Cesar Izturis to a minor league contract reuniting him with his half-brother Maicer Izturis. After some investigating and a fake Twitter account, the Blue Jays announced they actually signed infielder Julio Izturis. The 23-year-old Izturis has spent four seasons in the San Francisco Giants farm system having yet to eclipse low A ball. The youngest Izturis has seasons with 36 and 24 stolen bases playing for the DSL Giants in the Dominican Summer League.
Minor league signings:
The Jays have been also bolstering their minor league affiliates signing outfielder Ricardo Nanita, infielder Jim Negrych, and re-signing pitcher Bobby Korecky. The Jays also inked pitcher Alex Hinshaw who has major league experience with the Giants, Padres and Cubs fanning 85 batters in 74 major league innings. All these signings appear to be depth move for the farm systems.
As November draws to a close the past month will go down as one of the most memorable in Blue Jays history and regardless of what happens the rest of the way, this was definitely a “November To Remember”.
Clayton Richer is a baseball writer for Baseball Hot Corner, his interviews and blogs can be found daily at www.baseballhotcorner.com as well you can also follow him on twitter MLBHotCorner