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Former Blue Jay Hentgen named bullpen coach

Former Blue Jay Hentgen named bullpen coach

Former Blue Jay Hentgen named bullpen coach
TORONTO -- Pat Hentgen is returning to the Blue Jays for another stint as their bullpen coach.

Hentgen spent the 2011 season in a similar capacity, but stepped down at the end of the year for personal reasons. He was replaced by Pete Walker, who recently received a promotion to pitching coach.

After departing as an on-field coach, Hentgen remained with the club as a special assistant to the organization. In total, he has spent eight of the past nine years serving in that position.

Hentgen enjoyed a 14-year career in the Major Leagues, including 10 with the Blue Jays. His best season came in 1996, when he posted a 20-10 record with a 3.22 ERA to capture the first Cy Young Award in Toronto history.

The 44-year-old's return to coaching had been rumored for the past couple of weeks. He has a close relationship with new manager John Gibbons -- having played for him during the 2004 season -- and stated earlier in the offseason that it would be difficult to say no to his former skipper.

Hentgen brings with him a wealth of experience. In addition to his playing career, Hentgen spent several years as a roving pitching instructor within the organization. He is familiar with the club's top prospects and should prove to be a valuable resource for Walker and Gibbons.

Toronto's coaching staff is now complete. Hentgen joins a group that includes Walker, bench coach DeMarlo Hale, hitting coach Chad Mottola, first-base coach Dwayne Murphy and third-base coach Luis Rivera.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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