Sep 29, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Anthony Gose (8) heads for third base in the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre. Tampa defeated Toronto 7-6. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays Anthony Gose Heading To Venezuela For Winter Ball

23-year-old outfield prospect Anthony Gose has seemingly been on the radar of Toronto Blue Jays fans forever. And despite two rather lackluster auditions at the Major League level, very little has affected the shine on his “potential”, keeping him on the tips of tongues and perpetually discussed in any imaginary outgoing trade packages.

Now, with Rajai Davis hitting the free agent market and likely moving on in search of a starting gig, the door is now open for Anthony Gose to step up and claim a 25-man roster spot in 2014.

Of course, a lot of that hinges on Gose continuing to put work in to improve on what was a disastrous 2013 season, both at Triple-A Buffalo and initially with the Blue Jays. After struggling with a .239/.316/.336 slash-line and 27.3% K rate with the Bisons, injuries forced Toronto’s hand and Gose was promoted to the Blue Jays, where an improved September lead to a .259/.283/.408 slash-line with the big club, but an abysmal 37/5 K/BB ratio.

An elimination of a leg kick helped Gose improve his timing at the plate and his overall contact with the baseball, and the Toronto Blue Jays would like him to come to camp with the new swing in place. There is also hope that a new approach at the plate will help him improve his patience at the plat as well.

To make that happen, Anthony Gose will head to Venezuela and suit up with Tiburones de La Guaira for some winter ball, as reported by Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.

Gose becomes the second Blue Jays outfield prospect to head out to winter ball at this late point in the year. Earlier this week, Kevin Pillar headed to the Dominican Winter League to get some extra reps in, and we (we being I) speculated some of that may be to help showcase him for interested trade partners. I suppose the same could be said about Gose, as he is easily one of Toronto’s most tradable assets, but there’s enough reason to send him out for work to make that plausible without speculating that Gose is on the move.

If neither is traded, I’d be interested to see the competition in spring training for the 4th outfield spot between these two gentlemen. With that in mind, extra work isn’t going to hurt either, and can only hope to improve their chances in the spring.

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  • david s

    Moises hit .337 in the Dominican Leagues this fall. His bat makes a great case for platooning with Lind at DH. Moises also played a little first base too while he was there. All this makes a good argument for taking over Mark DeRosa’s role as a pinch hitter/ utility first baseman. He has speed and a good arm, however, he does lack awareness in the field. Still, I believe his work ethic and batting success will put him in good standing for spring training. His presence would put more offensive-potential from the bench and provide another potential outfielder/ first baseman for the team.

    Why mention Moises Sierra in an article about Gose? I believe Gose should have done the same earlier. I think Gose is going to Venezuela because of the competition from Moises. Sierra did that well in show casing himself. Yes, Anthony, it would be a good idea to fix that swing.

    • brad

      I was going to comment about the similarities to Sierra and then I read this…. now I don’t really need to so I’ll go in a different direction haha.

      I would actually be quite happy if the Jays had Sierra, Gose and Goins on the MLB bench next year. While Sierra doesn’t have the kind of obvious splits you would want from a platoon bat, it makes all kinds of sense to get Lind off the feild against lefties and put Sierra in a position where he doesn’t have a lot to focus on.

      Gose is a great late game defensive replacement for Melky in the OF and the ideal pinch runner. Ease the kid into the MLB lineup and let him start off his mlb career being able to make adjustments very slowly without being overexposed…. and let him learn some humility from a veteran laden group.

      Goins is an ideal backup infielder. He played SS in AAA, 2B in the majors and I’m sure with some ST work he could add 3B to his repertoire as well(though EE and JB can also play there in an emergency).

      All that to say that these guys aren’t A prospects and shouldn’t be treated as such. They don’t need “regular at bats” in the minors… if regular minor league at bats were going to fix what was flawed in each of these guys’ game, they would have by now. It’s sink or swim time. Put them in a position to succeed and see if one of them can come on next year…. and if not, you have 3 valuable bench pieces. Add a pinch hitter type that can play the infield corners and your bench is done.

  • bob l.

    i also love sierra. if the jays could get a number 1 or 2 pitcher for bautista, then sierra could step into rf. if bautista is not traded , then i’d like to see rasmaus sent packing and have gose in cf with sierra as the 4th outfielder. although the latter scenario could be tough if gose went down. pillar to center in that case?

    • david s

      Bob, I must respectfully disagree. Taking Bautista or Rasmus out would not be a good idea. Rasmus was the best defensive player the Jays had last year. Losing Bautista would just make another hole to fill.

      Pillar is not ready yet and may never be a first line outfielder. The same goes for Gose and Sierra, but the latter two would make good utility fielders, pinch hitters and runners. I am very happy with the outfield as is. Just one more starter and an upgrade at catching would be great. I think left field and second are fine as is. The key ingredient for this year will be health, hitting, a good showing from the starting pitching, lights out bull pen, being strong up the middle and a great deal of luck. It can be done.