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Blue Jays announce Minor League coaching staffs

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TORONTO -- The Blue Jays put the finishing touches on their Minor League coaching staffs for the 2013 season on Monday afternoon.

The appointments will see the return of five managers to their respective positions: Marty Brown (Triple-A Buffalo), John Tamargo Jr. (Class A Lansing), Clayton McCullough (Class A Vancouver), Dennis Holmberg (Bluefield) and John Schneider (Gulf Coast League).

The hires also include a pair of new recruits. Gary Allenson is set to take over for Sal Fasano with Double-A New Hampshire, while Bobby Meacham will assume the post at Class A Dunedin.

Allenson spent the 2012 season in the New York-Penn League managing for the Orioles' organization. He has 18 years of experience as a manager and is a former catcher who spent parts of seven seasons in the Majors.

Fasano is leaving the Fisher Cats, but he is still going to play an integral role within the organization. He has been promoted to catching coordinator for the entire Minor League system.

The departure of Fasano comes at least as somewhat of a surprise. The 41-year-old joined the Blue Jays prior to the 2010 season, when he began his managerial career with Lansing. He was then promoted to New Hampshire and led the Fisher Cats to an Eastern League championship in '11 while also picking up Manager of the Year honors for his efforts.

Meacham's position in Dunedin became available when Mike Redmond departed to become the manager in Miami. Redmond also got his start in Lansing, but he has since made a rapid ascension to the Major Leagues.

In addition to the managers, Toronto also officially announced the hiring of Tim Leiper as a senior advisor to the club, Tim Raines as an outfield and baserunning coordinator, Mike Barnett as a hitting coordinator, Richie Hebner as the hitting coach for New Hampshire and Stubby Clapp as the hitting coach with Dunedin.

The hiring of Barnett leaked in December while Raines joined the organization last week, but the news didn't become official until Monday. Both individuals will spend their time moving throughout the Minor League system and working with some of the club's top prospects.

Barnett previously spent four seasons as Toronto's hitting coach from 2002-05. In '03, Barnett led the Blue Jays to the second-best offense in the American League, and he spent the past two seasons as the hitting coach in Houston.

Raines should prove to be a valuable resource to a club that has put a lot of emphasis on speed. The seven-time All-Star and potential Hall of Famer is expected to spend a lot of time working with top prospect Anthony Gose as he refines both his defense and ability to steal bases.

Leiper spent the past two seasons in Miami as an infield coordinator. He previously spent 12 seasons as a manager in the Minor Leagues for the Mets, Expos, Red Sox, Orioles and Pirates. He also will serve as a coach for Team Canada in the upcoming World Baseball Classic in March.

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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