With the flow of time from January to February, the countdown to Spring Training is now officially underway. And with the Blue Jays unlikely to make many more moves prior to the start of camp on February 12th, we can all pass the time together by taking stock on what exactly we have to look forward to this Spring.
One of the first places to start would be the slew of non-roster invitees that will be showing up in camp in a matter of days. It gets lost in the excitement of all of the moves that Alex Anthopoulos has made this winter, just how many waiver claims and minor league deals he has made to help bolster the depth of the organization.
Over the course of the next few days, we’re going to look at the various players that will be given a shot to show what they can contribute. To get things started, we’ll begin by looking at the left-handed pitchers that will be showing up in camp on the 12th.
A 15th round selection of the San Francisco Giants in the 2005 Amateur Draft, Hinshaw was signed to a minor league deal by Toronto on November 21, 2012. He has made 90 career appearances at the Major League level, all in relief and holds a 3-2 record with a 5.11 ERA and 10.3 K/9 ratio across 74 innings pitched. The Blue Jays are the fifth organization for the 30-year-old who will be fighting for a roster spot at Triple-A Buffalo. Hinshaw is unlikely to see much, if any, time in Toronto in 2013.
The 31-year-old Hottovy was a 4th round pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and promptly took seven seasons before making his Major League debut in 2011. He has made only 17 career appearances in the big leagues and has been mediocre at bestat the minor league level. If he has any chance at all, it will be as a left-handed specialist. However, he’s more likely to spend the remainder of his career serving as roster depth in the minor leagues.
Nolin was recently ranked by MLB.com as the team’s 14th best prospect, but that has not stopped the Blue Jays from fast-tracking him either. Nolin has pitched two seasons in the minors since being drafted in the 6th round of the 2010 draft and has maneuvered his way to Double-A New Hampshire. He holds a career record of 14-6 with a 3.06 ERA and a 9.6 K/9 ratio in the minors. The Blue Jays are giving him a look in camp this Spring, but have already declared he will return to the Fisher Cats to start the 2013 season. However, Nolin is certainly a prospect to watch in 2013.
Another minor league free agent, Juan Perez has bounced around quite a bit since signing as a amateur free agent with Boston in 1998. In 42 career appearances at the Major League level, Perez holds a 1-2 record with a 4.88 ERA. The 34-year-old Dominican has struggled with control issues while pitching in the big show (7.2 BB/9) but has shown a propensity for strike-outs. Given Toronto’s lack of left-handed options in the upper minors, Perez will get a look this Spring, but is unlikely to make any impact with the parent club.