TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays have eliminated the full-time special assistant positions held by the highly respected duo of Pat Hentgen and Paul Quantrill, offering both the chance to return on a part-time basis, according to multiple industry sources.
Triple-A Buffalo manager Ken Huckaby, pitching rehab co-ordinator David Aardsma and pitching rehab coach Darold Knowles also won’t be back, as the Blue Jays began implementing a series of organizational changes partly driven by the looming reorganization of the minor-leagues, and partly by a need for cost savings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whether Hentgen, a beloved part of the franchise’s fabric, and Quantrill will return wasn’t immediately clear. There’s an expectation of more changes to come, as well.
Hentgen, the club’s first homegrown 20-game winner and an important part of the 1992-93 World Series winning teams, was in his eighth season as a special assistant to the club, having also served as the Blue Jays’ bullpen coach in 2011 and ’13.
Quantrill spent six seasons with the Blue Jays, earning an all-star nod in 2001, and joined the team as a consultant in 2013 before serving as a special assistant.
Both would regularly visit farm teams for workshops with young pitchers, sharing their well of knowledge with anyone wise enough to use them as resources.
Huckaby was promoted to manager at triple-A Buffalo this past off-season after spending the past couple of years as the organization’s catching co-ordinator, and ran the alternate training site in Rochester, which shut down this week.
He’d been a part of the club’s player development since 2013.
Aardsma, who pitched in 331 games over nine big-league seasons, was in his second year with the Blue Jays after spending 2019 as the club’s player-development co-ordinator.
Knowles, who pitched in parts of 16 big-league seasons, joined the Blue Jays as pitching coach at single-A Dunedin ahead of the 2006 season before becoming a rehab coach.