Blue Jays fire Charlie Montoyo


Blue Jays fire Charlie Montoyo

11:37 am: The Blue Jays announced this in a press release. Montoyo has been “relieved of his managerial duties” (i.e. fired) in favor of bench coach John Schneider, who will take over the position on an interim basis through the end of the 2022 season. Triple-A manager Casey Candaele is also entering the major leagues as an interim coach.

11:15 am: The Blue Jays have fired manager Charlie Montoyo, reports The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (via twitter). The decision comes barely three months after Montoyo signed a one-year extension that ran through the end of the 2023 season.

It’s rare for a team that’s four games over .500 and in possession of a wild card spot to dislodge their skipper, but the Montoyos Jays are in the midst of a terrible streak, having lost nine of their last 11 games. That includes a win over a red-hot Mariners club, which used a four-game win streak against Toronto to pull back to within a half-game of the wild card spot that the recently faltering Blue Jays are clinging to. ESPN’s Jeff Passan adds that “clubhouse issues about leadership” also contributed to Montoyo’s firing (Twitter link).

Overall, it’s been an unexpectedly mediocre season for the Blue Jays. While their overall lineup was well above average — Toronto hitters hitting .259/.321/.435, good for a fifth-place 111 wRC+ — it masks a dismal stretch mid-season the Jays were one of them for a couple of weeks the lowest scoring teams in the league. Even with those solid stats, Toronto sits only 11th in total runs scored (401), and their offense wasn’t the juggernaut unit that was most anticipated.

each of Bo Bichette, Teoscar Hernandez and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. were better than the average batsman but shy of their recent production levels (Bichette in particular). Off-season acquisition Matt Chapman has been better than his past few seasons at Oakland but has yet to return to the form he showed before hip surgery in 2020.

There were similar unexpected problems with the pitching staff Jose Berrios‘ unexpected decline, the most important of them. The Twins’ longtime top starter and estimated 2021 acquisition for the Jays signed a seven-year contract extension during the offseason and has immediately put in by far his worst performance since his rookie season.

Berrios was the picture of consistency for the Twins from 2017-21, batting like his typically strong self down the stretch with Toronto after trading last July. However, he stumbled through the 2022 season with a 5.38 ERA and a career-low strikeout rate of 20.7% through 95 1/3 frames. His rotation mate, free-agent signing offseason Yusei KikuchiHe had similar struggles in the first season of a three-year deal. Hyun Jin Ryu was lost for the season due to surgery by Tommy John. prevented injuries Nate Pearson from taking the hill.

Of course, those shortcomings certainly don’t fall squarely on Montoyo’s shoulders, but he’ll be the one to blame for the expected contributors’ struggles and the team’s recent spate of often-narrow defeats. He is the third manager to be fired this season alone, as both Joe Girardi (Phillies) and Joe Maddon (Angels) were fired earlier in the year.

At least in terms of win-loss metrics, Montoyo will go down in history as one of the most successful managers to have been fired in recent memory. Though he took over in the late stages of a 2019 rebuild, he led the Jays to an even 236-236 record in his more than three seasons on the job. Prior to his time with the Jays, the bilingual Montoyo was one of the most successful minor league managers in Rays franchise history, and he also spent four seasons as a bench coach at Tampa Bay. Given that history and track record, it stands to reason he might find himself in the race for off-season coaching and/or a managerial quest – if, of course, he wants to get back in a dugout right away.

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