Coaching Notes: Blue Jays, Vieira, Mets, Stankiewicz, Nationals
The Blue Jays made a noteworthy addition to their coaching ranks Monday, hiring Jaime Vieira as a minor league hitting coach per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. Vieira, a former softball standout and coach, is no stranger to the Toronto organization after spending the past two seasons with the club in various roles. Most recently she occupied a baseball operations research and development role last year, assisting the club with its 2021 draft among other tasks. The bump up to hitting coach reflects success in Vieira’s previously held roles as well as the continuation of an encouraging industry trend to seek out talented personnel regardless of gender. While Vieira is set to serve as the first female coach in the Toronto organization, this news comes in the wake of several other firsts this past week, including Rachel Balkovec’s ascension to manager in the Yankees organization and Genevieve Beacom becoming Australia’s first professional female baseball player.
Some other personnel notes from baseball’s eastern divisions…
- The Mets search for a bench coach under new skipper Buck Showalter continues, as Jon Heyman reports (via Twitter) that the team “checked in on” but was ultimately rebuffed by Grand Canyon University head coach Andy Stankiewicz. Showalter and Stankiewicz have some history, as the latter served as a utility man for Showalter’s Yankees in 1992 and 1993. This cordial refusal is the latest in a string of recent rejections for the Mets organization, who were denied a chance to speak with San Francisco pitching coach Andrew Bailey for their bench coach vacancy earlier today.
- The Nationals have made a smattering of recent hires, per Brittany Ghiroli and Maria Torres of The Athletic. Joe Dillon has returned to the organization as a minor league hitting coordinator after a few years as the Phillies’ major league hitting coach. The club has also hired Michael Schatz away from the Reds to serve as the organization’s lead research and development analyst. Lastly, GM Mike Rizzo has also welcomed three new special assistants to his front office: Willie Fraser and Mike Pagliarulo, recently with the Marlins, and Greg Hunter, who last served as a scout for the Mariners.