Bob Dutton has tweeted that the Blue Jays, led by former Royals bench coach, now Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, are close to signing Kevin Seitzer to be their new hitting instructor. He replaces Chad Mottola, who was dismissed after Toronto's disappointing season. Our sister site, Blue Bird Banter, goes into the story a bit more here.
The Seitzer hiring would mark a drastic change in approach from the "pull the ball hard" philosophy espoused by the Blue Jays coaching staff (primarily Dwayne Murphy) that was credited for the success of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Seitzer prefers players hit the ball to all fields, sacrificing power for contact. The Blue Bird Banter piece cites our old pal Rany Jazeryli as a huge endorser of Seitzer's skill as an instructor, and cites a Baseball Prospectus article that claims Seitzer has been one of the best hitting coaches in the past two decades, worth 58 runs per season.
If Seitzer had that kind of effect, I certainly didn't see it. The Royals under Seitzer were a woefully below-average offense. Eric Hosmer and Alcides Escobar had nice performances under his tutelage, but nothing eye-popping, and its hard to see how any hitting coach could make that kind of impact, particularly when we don't know who is taking his advice and who isn't.
In any case, this will be Seitzer's third gig, and he left the previous two after butting heads with his manager. And let's just say John Gibbons ain't exactly a cool cucumber.