February 24, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays catcher A.J. Jimenez (6) works out prior to the game during spring training against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays Option Crawford, Jimenez to Fisher Cats

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It is about that time of year when teams have to start making decisions in regards to their minor league invitees to Spring Training. While some are there to get a serious look at making the Major League roster, others are there in order to evaluate what is the course of action for their continued development.

Such is the case for the Toronto Blue Jays, who seemingly have everybody and anybody in camp this spring, but have very little opportunities available at the Major League level.

On Monday, the Blue Jays started making those tough decisions, starting by optioning right-hander Evan Crawford and catcher A.J. Jimenez to minor league camp and assigning them to team’s Double-A affiliate, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The team announced the move on their official transaction wire page.

Jimenez is ranked as the number 11 prospects in the Blue Jays system, according to MLB.com. However, the 22-year-old is coming off of Tommy John surgery in 2012 and would figure to use the continued developmental time in the minors. A right-handed hitter, Jimenez had only accumulated 4 hitless at-bats thus far this spring. He is a career .282 hitter in the minors with solid pop and is well regarded behind the plate. The Blue Jays will be curious to see how his arm responds to the surgery last season, but for now, Jimenez looks to have a solid future as a Major League catcher.

The 26-year-old Crawford received his first taste of the Major Leagues in 2012 as Toronto dealt with injuries. The results were not so kind, as in 8 innings of work, Crawford surrendered 6 earned runs and 3 home runs. The right-hander has pitched in just 2 games this spring, tallying 1.1 innings and surrendering 2 runs. It is worth noting that he has been assigned to start the year in New Hampshire, as Crawford had made 26 appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas in 2012, but was shelled there as well, to the tune of a 1-4 record and a 6.83 ERA. At an advanced age for a prospect and the lack of room for him to move up, Crawford may be looking for a bounce-back season in 2013 or he may be looking for a new organization shortly.

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