This is the second in a series of 12 posts, looking at the ups and downs of the 2013 calendar year for the Toronto Blue Jays. Starting with January, we’ll take a look at the month-by-month happenings for Toronto, including notables signings, game trends, and other items that shaped the 2013 season for the Blue Jays.
January brought with it a few moves of consequence, in particular the signing of Mark DeRosa, which rounded out the Blue Jays bench for 2013. The focus in February turned toward preparations for the 2013 season and the onset of Spring Training.
February 23, 2013 - Blue Jays acquire RHP Michael Schwimer from Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for first baseman Art Charles. The 6’8″ Schwimer was thought to be a solid, low-cost acquisition, possibly providing some bullpen depth down the line. However, a strained right shoulder landed him on the disabled list at the end of Spring Training and he would only appear in six games at Triple-A Buffalo before ultimately being designated for assignment on August 5th. His counterpart in the trade, Art Charles, was once an intriguing prospect that never developed his power and ultimately became expendable.
February 25, 2013 - The Blue Jays claim first baseman Lars Anderson off of waivers from the Chicago White Sox. Anderson. A former top prospect in the Red Sox system, Anderson never developed his bat the way he was once expected to. He hit fairly well in limited duty for the Blue Jays during Spring Training, but would be sold back to the White Sox once it became clear that there would be no room for him on the 40-man roster.
Notable Press Releases and New Items
February 5, 2013 - Jack Morris officially joins the Blue Jays as an analyst for Sportsnet, both for radio and television broadcasts. Morris would make an interesting personality, including his battle (fought with partner Dirk Hayhurst) with the Clay Buchholz and his constant decision to ask Jays pitchers to “pitch to the score”.
February 13, 2013 - Blue Jays right-hander Dustin McGowan is shut down with shoulder soreness. At the time, this was seen as a bad sign, as McGowan had been fighting injuries since 2007, including missing all of 2009, 2010, and 2012 with a slew of injuries. However, McGowan would put it behind him and eventually made it back to the Major Leagues as a reliever. He would appear in 25 games, putting up a 2.45 ERA and a solid 9.1 K/9 ratio. McGowan has indicated that he will approach 2014 with the intention of fighting for a starting role.
February 15, 2013 - Blue Jays announce that the team’s Opening Day game against the Cleveland Indians sold out less than 1 hour after the ticket windows opened. Blue Jay excitement was running rampant.
February 15, 2013 - The Blue Jays release a statement on behalf of outfielder Melky Cabrera. Cabrera, making his return from a steroid suspension at the end of 2012 while with the San Francisco Giants, decided to be forward issue a statement at the onset of Spring Training rather than continue to face questions throughout the season. In the statement, Cabrera acknowledged his mistakes and that he had served his punishment.
He also acknowledged that his name had come up with a new investigation, called Biogenesis, and that he would cooperate fully with the commissioner’s office in their investigation of the matters. Biogenesis was the single largest steroid scandal in the history of the game and featured the suspension of Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, and Jhonny Peralta to name a few, but the biggest fish, Alex Rodriguez, is still fighting his unprecedented 211 game suspension. For his part, Cabrera was not punished further, with the assumption being that his involvement tied into his previous offense.
February 17, 2013 - The Blue Jays announce that ongoing back issues will prevent first baseman David Cooper from participating in Spring Training. Cooper’s injury would appear to be career-threatening and the Blue Jays would be forced to release him on March 13th. However, after several months off rehabbing, Cooper would sign with the Cleveland Indians in August in hopes of resuming his career.
Notable Game Notes
February 24, 2013 - In just the second game of the Spring Training season, lefty J.A. Happ struck Yankees left fielder Curtis Granderson on the arm, breaking it in the process. Granderson would miss the next 10 weeks of the season, setting into play a series of injuries for the Yankees that would ultimately shape their season.