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.
Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Nick Pivetta will rejoin the Phillies’ rotation, starting Tuesday’s series opener at home against the Cardinals. Vince Velasquez will remain in the bullpen.
Pivetta, 26, allowed 17 earned runs on 31 hits and eight walks with 16 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings across his first four starts of the season. The performance resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In six starts there, Pivetta had a much better 3.41 ERA with a 50/20 K/BB ratio in 37 innings of work.
Velasquez, 26, was solid as a starter, posting a 3.99 ERA across six starts. However, he averaged under five innings and 92 pitches per start. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen on Friday against the Brewers but was torched for four runs in two-thirds of an inning on Sunday. Mixed results, to say the least. The Phillies are trying to do what they can with their bullpen, currently missing David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Vìctor Arano.