Blue Jays Fire Charlie Montoyo

The Blue Jays have fired manager Charlie Montoyo, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). The decision comes just three months after Montoyo signed a one-year extension that would run through the end of the 2023 season.

The Blue Jays have announced the move via a press release. Montoyo has been “relieved of managerial duties” (i.e. fired) in favor of bench coach John Schneider, who will take over the job on an interim basis through the end of the 2022 season. Triple-A manager Casey Candaele , will join the Major League staff as an interim bench coach as well.

Carlos Montoyo |  Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

It’s rare to see a team that is four games over .500 and in possession of a wild-card spot topple its patron, but the Montoyo Blue Jays are in the midst of a terrible streak that has seen them lose nine of their last 11 games. That includes a sweep at the hands of a red-hot Mariners club that used a four-game winning streak over Toronto to drop back within a half-game of the same Wild Card spot the recently-reeling Blue Jays are clinging to. ESPN’s Jeff Passan adds that “clubhouse questions about leadership” also contributed to Montoyo’s firing (twitter link).

It’s been an unexpectedly lackluster season for the Blue Jays overall. While their lineup has been well above average overall (Toronto hitters are hitting .259/.321/.435, good for a 111 wRC+ at fifth in the rankings), that masks a lousy stretch in the middle. of the season in which the Blue Jays were one of the lowest scoring teams in the league for a few weeks. Even with those strong index stats, Toronto ranks 11th in total runs scored (401), and its offense hasn’t been the giant unit most expected.

Each one of Bo Bichette, Teoscar Hernandez Y Vladimir Guerrero Jr. they’ve been better than the average hitter but are below their recent levels of production (Bichette in particular). off-season acquisition matt chapman he has been better than he was in his last two seasons with Oakland, but he has yet to recover to the form he showed before the 2020 hip surgery.

There have been similarly unexpected problems on the pitching staff, with Jose Berrios‘ Main unexpected fall between them. The Twins’ longtime leading starter and prized 2021 deadline acquisition for the Blue Jays signed a seven-year contract extension in the offseason and immediately followed it up with his worst performance since his rookie season.

Berríos was the picture of consistency for the Twins from 2017-21 and pitched like his typical strong self down the stretch with Toronto after last July’s trade. However, he has stumbled through the 2022 season with a 5.38 ERA and a career-low 20.7% strikeout rate on 95 1/3 frames. His rotation partner, offseason free agent signing yusei kikuchiHe has had similar problems in the first season of a three-year deal. Hyun Jin-ryu he missed the entire season due to Tommy John surgery. injuries have prevented Nate Pearson to take the mound.

Of course, those shortcomings certainly don’t fall squarely on Montoyo’s shoulders, but he will be the one to bear the blame for the struggles of expected contributors and the team’s recent string of often-close losses. He becomes 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 record, Montoyo will go down in history as one of the most successful coaches fired in recent memory. Despite taking over in the latter stages of a rebuild in 2019, he guided the Blue Jays to a close 236-236 record in his three-plus seasons on the job. Prior to his time with the Blue Jays, the bilingual Montoyo was one of the most successful minor league managers in Rays franchise history, also spending four seasons as a bench coach in Tampa Bay. Given that history and track record, it stands to reason that he could find himself in the running for some coaching and/or managerial searches in the offseason, if his desire is to return to a bench, of course.

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