Blue Jays hire former Astros hitting coach Hudgens as new bench coach

Ross Atkins talks with the media about why this upcoming season for the Toronto Blue Jays could greatly affect the franchise in the following years.

TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays have hired a new bench coach, naming Dave Hudgens to the position on Wednesday.

DeMarlo Hale previously served as Toronto’s bench coach from 2013-2018.

Hudgens, 61, spent the last four seasons with the Houston Astros as the team’s hitting coach, where he won a World Series Championship in 2017. He was the hitting coach for the New York Mets (2011 to 2014) and the Oakland Athletics (1999, 2003 to 2005) before that.

"Dave Hudgens brings an exceptional coaching background to our organization, including a wealth of experience and the ability to combine his baseball knowledge with a forward-thinking approach to help our team," said Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins. "He’s a consummate learner and teacher at heart and he comes highly recommended by his peers."

Hudgens began his coaching career in 1985 when he managed rookie-level Pocatello in the Pioneer League. He also managed within Oakland’s system before joining Houston as a roving hitting instructor from 1989 to 1995.

Hudgens returned to Oakland for the next 10 seasons in a variety of roles, then joined the Cleveland Indians as the field coordinator from 2006 to 2010.

New manager Charlie Montoyo, who replaces John Gibbons, said in his introductory press conference last week that putting a coaching staff in place would be his first order of business.

Toronto fired hitting coach Brock Jacoby and first base coach Tim Leiper on Saturday.

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