TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays have replaced Bryan King, their strength and conditioning co-ordinator since 2009, with Chris Joyner as part of a plan to revisit their entire training program.
Joyner, who is very well thought of within the organization, has been the club’s assistant minor-league strength and conditioning co-ordinator since 2011, after spending four years as the Milwaukee Brewers’ strength coach.
The switch comes after the Blue Jays endured back-to-back injury-plagued seasons. While King is by no means responsible for the epidemic, the club is planning to re-examine its entire strength and conditioning program before the 2014 season.
Head trainer George Poulis and assistant trainer Mike Frostad are both slated to return for 2014.
The Blue Jays sent players to the disabled list 27 times and lost 1,380 games to injury during the 2013 season, after suffering through 18 disabled list stints and 1,278 man-games lost in 2012.
From 2002-11, the Blue Jays ranked 20th in the majors with 142 DL stints and 22nd in games lost with 6,403, according to Stats Inc.
SEITZER A FRONT-RUNNER: Kevin Seitzer is the leading candidate to become the next hitting coach for the Blue Jays, although word is no formal offer to him has yet been made.
The Blue Jays are said to be in the interviewing process right now, and Seitzer is being described as a good fit for both manager John Gibbons’ hitting philosophies and what the club is seeking in the role.
The two worked together with the Kansas City under manager Ned Yost when Gibbons was bench coach and Setizer hitting coach, and an industry source added that the two “go way back.”
Seitzer was fired by the Royals after the 2012 season. He believes in hitters not getting too pull-happy, using the whole field, and looking to go opposite field with two strikes.
SO LONG SARTORI: Friday was Jay Sartori’s final day as Blue Jays assistant general manager before leaving for California to join Apple as manager of the App Store’s sports and entertainment category.
Sartori had been with the team since September 2010, handling contracts, arbitration and collective bargaining related matters, among other tasks.
Before that, he’d served as director of baseball operations for the Washington Nationals and worked with Major League Baseball’s labour relations department.
The Blue Jays are splitting his duties within the front office until a replacement is found.