TORONTO (AP) — Don Mattingly is joining the Toronto Blue Jays as bench coach to manager John Schneider, the team announced Wednesday. Many might wonder, what exactly is a bench coach?
The MLB describes a bench coach as someone who is typically considered the right-hand man to the team’s manager. Bench coaches assist their managers in decision-making and will sometimes relay scouting information from the team’s front office to the club’s players.
Many bench coaches go on to become managers, or are former managers. The bench coach typically steps in to act as manager when the regular manager is unavailable (often as a result of being ejected from the game).
The former New York Yankees slugger, a six-time All-Star, joins the Blue Jays after seven seasons as manager of the Florida Marlins, where he won NL Manager of the Year honors in 2020.
Mattingly previously spent five seasons as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning three division titles in that span. He also worked as hitting coach and bench coach for the Yankees, and as hitting coach of the Dodgers before his managerial stint in Los Angeles.
In Toronto, Mattingly replaces Casey Candaele, who was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo to serve as Schneider’s bench coach after the Jays fired manager Charlie Montoyo in July, replacing him with Schneider. The Blue Jays said Candaele will resume his job as manager of the Triple-A Bisons in 2023.
Mattingly spent his entire 14-year playing career with the Yankees, winning nine Gold Glove awards at first base, three Silver Slugger awards, the 1984 AL batting title and the 1985 AL MVP award.
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