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Denbo offered Minors instructor job

Denbo offered Minors instructor job

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TORONTO -- When the Blue Jays hired Cito Gaston to be their manager on Friday, the club gave him the opportunity to bring in a few of his own coaches. As a result, hitting coach Gary Denbo lost his job.

On Monday, Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi revealed that Denbo -- signed to a two-year deal over the winter -- still has a chance to remain within the organization.

"We offered him the Minor League hitting instructor's job," Ricciardi said. "If he wants to do that, it's his job. But, we said, 'Take your time to think about it.' He's a good hitting guy. He does a good job with young kids. It's just unfortunate that it just didn't work out right here."

Denbo was replaced as the Jays' hitting coach by Gene Tenace, who was also a part of Gaston's staff in Toronto in the 1990s. Besides Denbo, the Blue Jays also dismissed third-base coach Marty Pevey and first-base coach Ernie Whitt.

Nick Leyva took over at third base, while Dwayne Murphy -- Toronto's roving Minor League hitting instructor until Friday -- assumed the first-base coaching duties. Murphy also interviewed for the Jays' hitting coach vacancy over the winter.

"With Cito coming in, he specifically asked for his own hitting guy," Ricciardi said. "That's why we made the move with Gary. It wasn't because of anything Gary did. It was just that we wanted to honor Cito's request to have his own guys here.

"It's unfortunate for Gary, but he's kind of a victim of circumstance."

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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