The Toronto Blue Jays have had an on-again, off-again relationship with this year’s World Baseball Classic. At one point, the Blue Jays organization had as many as seven players from the Major League roster on the various rosters for the WBC, with R.A. Dickey and J.P. Arencibia on the United States roster, Brett Lawrie on the Canadian team, and Jose Reyes, Edwin Encarnacion, Melky Cabrera, and Esmil Rogers representing the Dominican contingent. Cabrera and Rogers would later remove themselves from the roster in order to focus on getting ready for the 2013 season with Toronto.
Now it looks like the Blue Jays will be without another player shortly as players start reporting to their respective teams. Outfielder Moises Sierra, who had an outside shot of making the opening day roster as it was, will now suit up for the Dominican Republic.
“I’m very happy and excited,” Sierra said. “That’s good for me, I think I’ll learn a lot.”
The 24-year-old outfielder got his first taste of the Major Leagues in 2012, appearing in 49 games and hitting .224 with 6 home runs, 15 RBI, and a .648 OPS in 157 plate appearances. Prior to his call-up, Sierra was outstanding at Triple-A Las Vegas, with a .289 batting average, .832 OPS, 17 home runs, and 63 RBI for the 51′s.
With Rajai Davis pretty much ensconced as the back-up outfielder this season, and the like of Mark DeRosa and Emilio Bonifacio available to play outfield if needed, Sierra was likely to begin the season back at Triple-A, this time in Buffalo. That said, the exposure to advanced pitching at the World Baseball Classic, as well as the ability to learn from veterans like Reyes, Encarnacion, Adrian Beltre, and Robinson Cano while with the Dominican team will only serve to help him mature as a player.
Still, it would have been nice to see Sierra more in camp this spring, working on a more patient approach at the plate and gearing himself up to make a splash when the time called.