DUNEDIN, FL- The Dunedin Blue Jays have announced their on-field coaching staff for the upcoming 2019 season. Cesar Martin takes over to manage the Dunedin Blue Jays in 2019, moving up from the same position with Toronto's Low Class A affiliate, Lansing Lugnuts. Hitting Coach Matt Young arrives from Lansing, as well, starting his second season with a Blue Jays affiliate. Pitching Coach Jim Czajkowski brings a wealth of experience to the staff, having acted in the same role for the Short Season Vancouver Canadians, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and Dunedin. Jake McGuiggan will serve as the analyst/coach in 2019, after working as a video analyst for the Rookie ball Bluefield Blue Jays. Michael Rendon joins Dunedin as the athletic trainer, and Aaron Spano rounds out the staff as the new strength and conditioning coach.
The 2019 season marks the fifth year managing a Blue Jays affiliate for Cesar Martin. Last season, Martin led the Lansing Lugnuts to an 80-60 record and a wild card spot in Midwest League postseason. At his direction, the team led the Midwest League in runs scored (720), stolen bases (203), and on base percentage (.341). Cesar spent two seasons playing in the Blue Jays farm system from 2001-2002 before he took on the role of managing in 2015, for the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays. In his two professional playing seasons, Cesar collected 62 runs batted in and a .211 batting average. Since his managing career began, he has posted a .560 winning percentage, including two postseason appearances.
Martin takes the place of Casey Candaele, who managed the team in 2018. Casey Candaele led the team to a 69-68 record in his one season in Dunedin. Candaele will continue with the Blue Jays organization on the team operations side for 2019.
Matt Young joins Dunedin after coaching one of the best offenses in Low Class A this previous season. In his first season with the organization, Young improved the Lansing Lugnuts team's statistics in runs scored by 35, home runs by 14, and base on balls by 51 between the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Dunedin already had the second best team batting average (.268) and total hits (1221), in the Florida State League. Young looks to bring more power to a Dunedin lineup that finished eighth in the homerun category for the Florida State League.
Previous to coaching in the Blue Jays organization, he spent two seasons in the Majors as an Outfielder with the Atlanta Braves in 2011 and the Detroit Tigers in 2012. Matt recorded 11 total hits in his 25 game major league career.
Pitching Coach Jim Czajkowski makes his return to Dunedin after wrapping up last season with the Vancouver Canadians. In his five seasons with the Canadians, Jim won four Northwest League Championships (2011, 2012, 2013, and 2017). Czajkowski's pitching staff had a 3.37 ERA (250 ER in 668.1 IP) and a 1.24 WHIP. The staff's 678 strikeouts was good for third in the Northwest League. 2019 marks the twentieth season as a pitching coach for Czajkowski, which began in 2000 with the Danville Braves.
As a professional, Czajkowski played twelve seasons, including one year with the Colorado Rockies, after being drafted in the twenty-ninth round in 1986 by the Atlanta Braves. The last two years of his playing days were with the Blue Jays from 1996-1997.
Analyst/Coach Jake McGuiggan takes on his first season in professional coaching, after working as a video coach prior to Dunedin. Before Jake took on coaching, he was on the Varsity baseball team at Harvard (2010-2015). His senior season saw him slash .347/.362/.504, including 13 multi-hit games. After his collegiate career, McGuiggan spent three seasons in the Independent Atlantic League, where he played for the New Britain Bees and Long Island Ducks.
Michael Rendon will become the new athletic trainer for the Dunedin Blue Jays, coming over from the Vancouver Canadians. Michael's other athletic training experiences include: St. Louis Double-A affiliate Springfield, Southern Illinois University, and Houston Astros extended Spring Training. Rendon graduated in 2010 from Southern Illinois University with his bachelor's degree in athletic training.
Aaron Spano worked with the Lansing Lugnuts last season in the same capacity in Dunedin, as the Strength and Conditioning Coach.. He received his undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and he went on to earn his Master of Science in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Spano has worked in the Blue Jays organization since 2017.
The Dunedin Blue Jays are the High Class-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays and a member of the Florida State League. The Blue Jays open up 2019 on the road against the Clearwater Threshers on Thursday, April 4th.