The Blue Jays are reportedly on the verge of hiring former Major Leaguer Kevin Seitzer as their next hitting coach.
The two sides are nearing an agreement, according to the Kansas City Star. The move still isn't finalized, and the Blue Jays have yet to issue a formal statement on the report.
Toronto manager John Gibbons worked with Seitzer as part of the Royals coaching staff from 2009-11. Seitzer spent four years as the hitting coach in Kansas City while Gibbons worked alongside him for three of those seasons as the bench coach for managers Trey Hillman and Ned Yost.
Gibbons did not respond to a message regarding the news, while Seitzer could not be reached for a comment. The report would seem to make a lot of sense, considering the Blue Jays recently dismissed hitting coach Chad Mottola. At the time, it was believed Gibbons wanted to hire someone he had a previous working relationship with.
Seitzer spent 12 years in the Major Leagues and posted a career .295 average with 74 homers and 613 RBIs in 1,439 games. He was dismissed from the Royals job following the 2012 campaign and most recently was working at the Mac-N-Seitz Baseball and Softball Academy in Kansas City.
The native of Illinois was credited for his work with Royals hitter Alex Gordon, while current Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera enjoyed a breakout season under Seitzer's tutelage in 2011.
Seizer appears to be a proponent of getting his hitters to use the entire field during their at-bats. He tends not to change their mentality early in counts, but once the hitters fall behind, Seitzer likes to see his hitters attempt to go up the middle or to the opposite field.
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos recently talked about a desire to have his players follow a similar philosophy. There's a fine balance between using a hitter's strength and trying to get the most out of their at-bats, but too often this past year the club went with an all-or-nothing approach at the plate.
Mottola's dismissal remains somewhat controversial and came as a major surprise, considering most people thought he had a lot of job security heading into next year. He enjoyed a very close working relationship with the likes of Colby Rasmus, Adam Lind and Anthony Gose, among others.
The Blue Jays instead went in a different direction, and it would appear as though Seitzer is the favorite to fill that role.