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Jays join Gulf Coast League

Jays join Gulf Coast League

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are sticking with six Minor League affiliates. On Wednesday, Toronto announced that it has agreed to field a club in the Gulf Coast League for the upcoming season.

The Gulf Coast Blue Jays become Toronto's rookie league affiliate, replacing the Pulaski Blue Jays of the Appalachian League. Toronto dropped Pulaski from its Minor League system after last season and was considering having only five farm clubs in 2007.

That changed when Toronto decided to join the Gulf Coast League, which has a 10-week schedule that takes place from late June through the end of August. The Gulf Coast Blue Jays will also retain much of Pulaski's coaching staff.

Clayton McCullough, who spent last year as Pulaski's hitting coach, will assume the managerial duties for the Gulf Coast Blue Jays. McCullough spent time as a volunteer baseball coach at East Carolina University prior to coaching in Toronto's system. McCullough is a former catcher in the Cleveland organization and he spent time as Toronto's interim bullpen catcher for part of the '06 season.

Dave Pano, who served as Pulaski's manager for the last two seasons, will stay on as the hitting coach for the Gulf Coast Blue Jays. Vince Horsman -- Pulaski's pitching coach last season -- will serve as the pitching coach for the Gulf Coast club, too. Horsman pitched for the Blue Jays in 1991 and he helped lead Pulaski's pitching staff to an Appalachian League-high 588 strikeouts in 2006.

Here is a complete list of the Blue Jays 2007 player development staff:

Coordinator of Instruction: Mike Basso
Pitching: Dane Johnson
Hitting: Dwayne Murphy
Athletic Training: Mike Frostad
Strength and Conditioning: Bryan King
Eqipment: Billy Wardlow

Manager: Doug Davis
Pitching: Rick Langford
Hitting: Al LeBoeuf
Trainer: Jon Woodworth

Manager: Billy Masse
Pitching: Dave LaRoche
Hitting: Ken Joyce
Trainer: Voon Chong

Manager: Omar Malave
Pitching: Darold Knowles
Hitting: Paul Elliott
Trainer: Andrew Muccino

Manager: Gary Cathcart
Pitching: Tom Signore
Hitting: Charlie Poe
Trainer: Bob Tarpey

AUBURN (Class A)
Manager: Dennis Holmberg
Pitching: Antonio Caceres
Hitting: Justin Mashore
Trainer: Daniel McIntosh

Manager: Clayton McCullough
Pitching: Vince Horsman
Hitting: Dave Pano
Trainer: TBD

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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