The Blue Jays announced late this afternoon that bullpen coach Pat Hentgen has been given the year off in order “to support his family and his father’s current health issues.” Triple-A pitching coach Bob Stanley will replace him on the major league staff for the 2014 season.
Hentgen served as bullpen coach for the Blue Jays in 2011 and was brought back last season when John Gibbons was brought back as manager. He previously served as a club ambassador from 2007-2010 and in 2012. He’ll surely have a job waiting for him in the organization if and when he’s ready to return.
Hentgen was originally drafted by the Blue Jays in 1986 and pitched in the majors with the club from 1991-1999 before finishing his career there in 2004. A three-time All-Star, he won the American League Cy Young Award in 1996.
The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.