Blue Jays Notes: Murov, Sclafani, Phelps

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The Blue Jays announced this morning they’ve promoted Mike Murov to assistant general manager (h/t to Keegan Matheson of MLB.com). He had been the club’s director of baseball operations, a role he’s held for six years. Before joining the Toronto front office, he spent time as an assistant director of major league ops with the Red Sox. Murov broke into front office work a little more than a decade ago, spending a bit of time in the Marlins and Reds organizations. He joins Joe Sheehan in an AGM capacity in Toronto, where president/CEO Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins lead baseball operations.

Some more news out of Toronto:

  • Along with Murov’s bump to assistant GM, the Jays promoted Joe Sclafani to director of player development. The 31-year-old, who played four seasons in the Astros farm system before moving into his front office career in 2016, had been Toronto’s assistant player development director. In the wake of his promotion, Sclafani spoke with Kaitlyn McGrath of the Athletic about his new role. The Dartmouth product emphasized the need for organizations to effectively curate data they provide to players so as to make developmental goals actionable. “How can we effectively translate everything available to these guys so it doesn’t overwhelm them,” he asked rhetorically. “(Provide) everything they need and nothing that they don’t.” Also discussed as part of Sclafani’s wide-ranging conversation with McGrath: the organization’s continued work with minor league hitters on understanding the strike zone, the process for hiring of minor league coaches, and the progression of infield prospects Jordan Groshans and Orelvis Martinez.
  • The Jays brought reliever David Phelps back on a minor league contract in November, his second consecutive year with the organization. Phelps had allowed just two runs through 11 1/3 innings last season, but in late May, he suffered a season-ending injury that the team called a lat strain. Speaking recently with Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet, Phelps says he suffered a complete rupture, one he feared might end his career. The 35-year-old ultimately decided to undergo lat revision surgery and continue playing, although he tells Zwelling he gave serious thought to stepping away from the game. Phelps, who says he’s optimistic about his chances of being ready to go for Spring Training, also goes into detail about his rehab process and decision to return to Toronto versus signing with other clubs that offered him non-roster deals.

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