Jays Minors Transactions: 11-20 Aug 2011

The Jays are promoting, signing, assigning, and releasing players at a quick pace of late, so I thought that we could use a recap of what has taken place within the system of late as well as some thoughts on the transaction.

Promoted

Toronto Blue Jays recalled SP/RP Joel Carreno from New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

  • I’m not sure if this move was made to keep his innings to a minimum, or to get a sense for what he can do for the Jays out of the pen, but it goes against what John Farrell has stated – that no AA player would be promoted to The Show for the remainder of 2011. While Jays fans all over are asking themselves who the closer in 2012 will be for the Jays, Carreno is my favourite candidate for the role. In the same way that the young pen has done in Atlanta I firmly believe that Joel Carreno can help the Jays get a dominant back end of the pen. Still, as a starter in AA, he has achieved some great things as he maintained a 3.41 ERA over 23 starts and allowed only 100 hits while getting an impressive 152 Ks in 134.2 IP. He had thrown 137.2 innings in 2010, so perhaps the Jays want to limit his innings increase in 2011 to 20-25 IP. If he stays in the Jays pen for the remainder of 2011, he should be well within that range. If he does start 2012 int he Jays pen, he could definitely help Alex Anthopoulos rebuild it at a high level.

SP Drew Hutchison assigned to New Hampshire Fisher Cats from Dunedin Blue Jays.

  • Of all of the promotions completed of late, I am happiest about Drew’s because he was simply too dominant for the level he was pitching in. He had a 2.74 ERA and excellent 0.898 whip over 10 starts in HiA and now sets his sights on helping the New Hampshire squad out for the remainder of the year. A likely candidate to begin there next season, he’ll now join the group that began the season one level above him (Deck McGuire, Nestor Molina, Chad Jenkins) to give the Fishercats a formidable rotation. He seems to have passed Asher Wojciechowski on the depth chart despite being 2 years younger! Drew has made it to AA just before his 21st birthday (which is on the 22nd of August) and he’ll definitely be celebrating it at the right level. Having climbed through 2 levels so far in 2011, he is certainly putting himself in position to become a possibility for the Jays in mid-to-late 2012 and is someone Jays fans should be very excited about seeing at that time.

SP Casey Lawrence assigned to Dunedin Blue Jays from Lansing Lugnuts.

  • Casey had already received a taste of the Dunedin level earlier this season but has seemingly earned his newest promotion for the long-term. He was 11-8 with a 3.08 ERA and 1.154 Whip in Lansing and managed a 4.41 SO/BB ratio over that time. As with Drew, he has definitely earned his promotion and should do fairly well in Dunedin. He is a little old (23) for the level, but is still on track to make headway as a starter in the Jays minors for some time. If you’re thinking that Casey may eventually wind up in the pen as he makes it to AA or AAA, he is slightly more effective vs RHB (.238 AA with 9 BB and 54 Ks) than LHB (.264 AA with 13 BB and 43 Ks). However, the Jays are better served having him start until he earns a promotion to The Show so that he can get as much experience as possible while sharpening his stuff.

RP Wes Etheridge assigned to New Hampshire Fisher Cats from Dunedin Blue Jays.

  • This 27 year old has been very effective for the Dunedin pen as their closer (1.89 ERA and 42 saves) and now gets a chance to prove he can climb through and beyond New Hampshire. Having been picked up out of an independent league, he is actually doing better than expected and could provide the Jays with some decent pen depth out of Las Vegas at some point in 2012 if he does well in AA.

RHP Colby Broussard assigned to Bluefield Blue Jays from GCL Blue Jays.

  • This 2011 44th rd pick (1339 overall) is blowing hitters away as he pitches in relief. Sure, he’s a little old for the level at 22 years old, but with a 0.822 Whip over 24.1 IP. The big Louisiana native still has a very long road to The Show, but as a reliever he could move very quickly through the system if he keeps his dominance/effectiveness high.

SS Andrew Burns assigned to Vancouver Canadians from GCL Blue Jays.

  • The Jays 11th rd pick in 2011 made quick work of the GCL, hitting .625/.650/.813 in a very short span (10 hits in 16 ABs), and earned a promotion back to SS Vancouver.

OF Ronald Melendez assigned to Bluefield Blue Jays from GCL Blue Jays.

  • A 24th rd pick of the 2010 draft, Ronald hit .259/.333/.384 in the GCL in 2010. Now 21 years old, he only needed 34 ABs and a line of .265/.324/.324 to get him promoted to Bluefield. This move has “making space for the newly drafted and assigned players” written all over it.

Signed and Assigned

SP/RP Kyle Davies assigned to Las Vegas 51s from Toronto Blue Jays.

  • I’m not sure I see big value in this signing for the Jays. He’ll turn 28 in September and has had a really hard time in any role or situation. Over his career, LHB have a .369 OBP against him while RHB have a very similar and just as bad .363 OBP. His home OBP against is .362, away is .370. His OBP against in the 1st half of the season is .366 and for the second half…. it’s .366! And finally, for those of us who wonder if he could work out well as a reliever, he has a .287/.365/.460 line against as a starter, and a .314/.435/.490 line against as a reliever (over 51 ABs against), so there goes that theory! It’s a minor league deal, so it’s very little risk for the Jays and you never know how new instruction and a new approach could affect his development. However, I won’t be holding my breath waiting for him to earn a promotion to Toronto!

Assigned

LHP Brian Tallet assigned to Dunedin Blue Jays.

  • Jays fans are very familiar with what he has to offer and he now begins the long road back to Toronto. If they use him the right way, or what I like to call the opposite way Cito used him, he could seriously help the Jays pen out when/if he arrives in 2011.

RHP Jeremy Gabryszwski assigned to GCL Blue Jays.

  • The 2011 78th overall pick.

OF Derrick Loveless assigned to GCL Blue Jays.

  • The Jays 27th rd pick in 2011.

RHP Brady Dragmire assigned to GCL Blue Jays.

  • The Jays 17th rd pick in 2011.

OF Jacob Anderson assigned to GCL Blue Jays.

  • The 2011 35th overall pick started his career with a bang, hitting a HR in his first game and stealing a base the next day. He should get through the GCL with ease.

Demoted

Toronto Blue Jays optioned LHP Brad Mills to Las Vegas 51s.

  • He may have blown his last chance to come up with the Jays as a starter. The next time we see him in Toronto, if we see him there again, it should be as a reliever. The reason I say that is that he was as dominant as he ever had been in AAA and still couldn’t make good on that in the majors (8.35 ERA and 1.749 whip). However, he was able to keep RHB to a .255 average and could possible do a little better if he pitched out of the pen and added a little velocity to his pitches.

RHP Tucker Jensen assigned to GCL Blue Jays from Bluefield Blue Jays.

RHP Daniel Webb assigned to GCL Blue Jays from Lansing.

  • While Hutchison is climbing the ranks quickly, Webb – who got a slightly bigger signing bonus than Drew while being drafted the same year (2009) and in later rd (18th vs 15th) – has really struggled and has actually regressed some in 2011. His 1.657 Whip is particularly ugly and he may be well served to pitch out of the pen since he does have 2 strong pitches and throws some real heat. For all you need to know about Webb, read out Top 50 ranking write up of him as he made it to #45 based on his potential. With 2 strong pitches and the ability to hit 96 MPH as a starter, he fits very well in terms of a late reliever should he be moved into that role. He still needs to slow his delivery down and to throw strikes more consistently, and we pointed out that if he couldn’t add a 3rd pitch to his arsenal, that would be the role that fits him best. We’ll see if the Jays think the same way in 2012, but for now he’ll rebuild his confidence in the GCL.

RHP Misaul Diaz assigned to Bluefield Blue Jays from Lansing Lugnuts.

  • The 21 year old Dominican has had a rough time in Lansing, allowing a 5.63 ERA and 1.696 whip there. As with Webb, he’ll rebuild his confidence a little lower in the minors, in Bluefield.

Placed on the DL

Las Vegas 51s placed RHP Robert Ray on the 7-Day disabled list.

Released

GCL Blue Jays released LHP Kenllie Santana.

  • 22 years old, allowed a whopping 14.40 ERA and 3.600 Whip between Bluefield and the GCL. ‘Nough said.

GCL Blue Jays released LHP Leandro Mella.

  • 21 years old, allowed an 8.00 ERA with a 2.111 Whip in the GCL over 9 IP.
That covers it to this point. I’m sure there will be quite a few more promotions/demotions in the coming weeks, so we’ll keep it all covered here as it happens!

- MG

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Topics: Casey Lawrence, Daniel Webb, Drew Hutchison, Joel Carreno

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