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Blue Jays name former catcher Fisher Cats manager


January 10. 2018 4:16PM
John Schneider will be the youngest manager in Fisher Cats history and the first former player to manage the team. (Courtesy)



MANCHESTER - The Toronto Blue Jays have named former Fisher Cats catcher John Schneider as the team's new manager.

Schneider, who turns 38 on Feb. 14, will be the youngest manager in Fisher Cats history and the first former player to manage the team. In addition to his two years as a catcher in New Hampshire (2006-07), the Lawrenceville, N.J. native brings nine years of managerial experience and a championship pedigree to the Granite State.

Last season, Schneider led the Dunedin Blue Jays (Advanced-A affiliate) to the first Florida State League Championship in the 33-year history of the franchise. In 2011, he brought the Vancouver Canadians (Short-Season A affiliate) a Northwest League title as the club's youngest-ever manager (31).

During his nine years managing in Toronto's farm system, Schneider has worked with current and former prospects like Noah Syndergaard, Aaron Sanchez, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.

Schneider reached as high as the Triple-A level during his six-year playing career (2002-07) in the Blue Jays organization, and began his coaching career in 2008. He played a total of 62 games with New Hampshire between 2006 and 2007.

Schneider, the ninth manager in Fisher Cats history, has also managed the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays (2009-10, 2012-13), the Short-Season A Vancouver Canadians (2011, 2014-15), the Class-A Lansing Lugnuts (2016) and the Advanced-A Dunedin Blue Jays (2017).

Pitching coach Vince Horsman will return for his third year in New Hampshire, after guiding Fisher Cats pitchers Tim Mayza, Chris Rowley and Carlos Ramirez to their major league debuts last season.

Hitting coach Hunter Mense will join the Blue Jays organization in 2018. The 33-year-old spent last season as the Tri-City Dust Devils (Padres Short-Season A) hitting coach, and was previously on the University of Missouri coaching staff for six years. The Florida Marlins drafted Mense out of Missouri in the 17th round of the 2006 draft, and he reached the Triple-A level during his five-year playing career (2006-10).

Andy Fermin will return to the Fisher Cats for his second season as a position player coach. The 28-year-old appeared in a total of 55 games for New Hampshire in 2014 and 2015.

For the first time in nearly a decade, the Fisher Cats will have a new athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach. Drew MacDonald, who spent the last five seasons with Class-A Lansing, has been named athletic trainer, and Ryan Maedel gets the call up from Dunedin to be New Hampshire's strength and conditioning coach.

The Fisher Cats home opener is on Friday, April 13 at 6:35 p.m. against the Hartford Yard Goats, a Colorado Rockies affiliate. The first 2,500 fans will receive a free magnet schedule courtesy of EnergyNorth Propane, and the Opening Day festivities will include live music and a Beatles-themed Atlas Fireworks Show.