The Toronto Blue Jays made headlines earlier today as they decided to fire manager Charlie Montoyo and promoted bench coach John Schneider to the role in the interim for the remainder of the 2022 season as per Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic.
Depending on who you ask, this move comes as a bit of surprise given the Blue Jays’ standings and positive record but was a move that was needed after the recent performance from the squad and some potential underlying issues from behind closed doors.
The Jays have struggled over the past 10 games dating back to early last week. They currently hold the third spot in AL Wild Card with numerous teams right on their heels as the season heads into the All-Star break and the trade deadline.
A coach/manager within the Rays system for most of his career, Montoyo was hired by the Blue Jays during the 2018/2019 offseason at a time when the club was in a full rebuild with young players like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio getting ready to make their MLB debuts.
Known for his bright personality and ways of connecting with players, Montoyo developed a bit of a fire in him this season, having been ejected four times already this year. While his on-the-field calls were not the immediate reason for his release, there appeared to be a bit of a storm brewing within the clubhouse.
Some were critical of what appeared to be a laissez-faire attitude towards the team and the club held a players-only meeting in the midst of the skid last Friday, hoping to change the tides of how the week was going and may have played a part in his fate earlier today.
The Puerto Rican product finishes with a 236-236 record with two postseason games on record as manager of the Blue Jays.
New Blue Jays Manager – John Schneider
Stepping into his place is John Schneider, a coach and manager who has worked his way through the Blue Jays system for almost 15 years. He became manager of the Rookie League Gulf Coast Blue Jays in 2008 and was promoted to Short-Season A ball in 2010, managing the Vancouver Canadians to a championship that season.
After spending some time managing in Class-A, Schneider took over manager duties for the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2018, leading the team to a championship as well as earning Eastern League Manager of the Year honors.
He was promoted to the Blue Jays staff in 2019 and has been with the team in a variety of roles ever since, most recently as the team’s bench coach prior to the interim managerial promotion.
One thing that separates Schneider from any outside candidate is that he has developed and worked with a majority of the club’s young core all the way from the Minor League level. This connection and development certainly will have its positive values as the club tries to hold onto a playoff spot over the rest of the campaign.
A former player himself in the Minor Leagues, before retiring to become a coach/manager, many believe Schneider was one to keep an eye on for managerial jobs this upcoming offseason, whether it was with the Blue Jays or a different MLB team.
One thing that is for certain: Montoyo is out, Schneider is in.
While the title is currently just interim basis, one could expect that a solid finish to the 2022 campaign could have Schneider become the full-time manager next season and beyond, and given his previous history of success in the MiLB, that might be a smart move for the Blue Jays if he proves he can handle the MLB pressure this season.