One day after news broke that the Toronto Blue Jays were expanding their roster with a quintet of players by adding pitchers Ricky Romero, Kyle Drabek, Jeremy Jeffress, and Luis Perez, along with catcher Mike Nickeas, the team finalized some other moves to help create roster space for the new call-ups.
On Tuesday, the Blue Jays have optioned to move both outfielder Melky Cabrera and pitcher Josh Johnson to the 60-day disabled list and designating infielder Mauro Gomez for assignment. The moves were first reported by Scott MacArthur at TSN.ca via Twitter.
— Scott MacArthur (@TSNScottyMac) September 3, 2013
The decisions to move both Johnson and Cabrera to the 60-day DL was somewhat of a no-brainer for the Blue Jays brain trust. Johnson, out with a right forearm strain, and Cabrera, out with left knee irritation, have long been considered done for the season. Tuesday move just adds a final stroke to what was turned out to be a disappointing season for both players.
Josh Johnson made just 16 starts in a Blue Jays uniform after being a highly-touted offseason acquisition. The impending free agent would post a 2-8 record and was victimized by American League hitters to the tune of a 6.20 ERA, a 1.660 WHIP, 18.5% HR/FB percentage. At one time a lock to get a qualifying offer extended to him by the Blue Jays, the team will now simply extend his offseason by a few weeks and hope the door doesn’t hit him on the way out.
Melky Cabrera made just 88 appearances for the Blue Jays before hamstring issues and a balky knee ended his season prematurely. Whether either of the injuries, or his having to play a season clean of performance enhancing drugs, had anything to do with his down year, we’ll have to wait until next year to find out. Until then, we’ll have the memories of his empty .279 average, his .682 OPS, and his .081 ISO to tide us over.
It was somewhat surprising that Gomez did not get the call-up when moves were announced earlier this week, as the 28-year-old once again was a home run machine in the minors, hitting 29 bombs and driving in 73 (and striking out 131 times) for Buffalo. However, the decision to not promote him seems like it was part of a larger plan, as his roster spot became a necessary casualty for the other players recalled Monday.
But such is the roller coaster that has been the Blue Jays season. Someone was bound to fall off of it at some point.