Blue Jays mourn death of first base coach Mark Budzinski's daughter

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Ross Stripling (48) throws the opening pitch of the Toronto Blue Jays first home game of the 2021 season at the Rogers Centre in Toronto against the Kansas City Royals during MLB action on Friday, July 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power

First base coach Mark Budzinski is taking a leave of absence from the Toronto Blue Jays following the death of his daughter.

The team announced the passing of Julia Budzinski on Sunday morning.

"The Budzinskis have been part of our Blue Jays family over the last four seasons. This devastating loss is felt by our entire organization and we grieve alongside Bud and his family," said Ross Atkins, executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager of the Blue Jays. "I have known Bud for more than 25 years and have always admired his commitment as a dad and husband first.

"He is loved and well-respected by our entire clubhouse and holds a special place in all our hearts."

Mark Budzinski left the Blue Jays' dugout early in the second game of a day-night doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday. Manager Charlie Montoyo repeatedly left the dugout for the clubhouse during the game. Bench coach John Schneider filled in as manager during Montoyo's brief absences.

After the 11-5 loss to Tampa the Blue Jays issued a statement saying that there would be no post-game media availabilities.

The team also closed its clubhouse to reporters as the coaching staff supported Budzinski as he addressed a "personal matter."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 3, 2022.

Statement from the Toronto Blue Jays:

— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 3, 2022