Ricky Romero will make a rather big spring training start today for the Toronto Blue Jays against the Detroit Tigers. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays Morning Brew: Sanchez, Romero, Jenkins, Janssen


We haven’t done one of these in awhile so let’s get right into it – here are the latest news and rumours about the Toronto Blue Jays.

According to play-by-play announcer Buck Martinez, top prospect Aaron Sanchez should be in the starting rotation when the Blue Jays’ season begins (h/t Sportsnet). In typical Buck fashion, he drops quotes like “he has the look in his eye” and “this guy’s got it” without much thought to the fact Sanchez has yet to pitch above High-A outside of spring training and the Arizona Fall League. I’ll agree with Buck when he says he has the best stuff in camp and I’m as high on Sanchez as anyone. However, as most astute fans already know, he didn’t have the best year in 2013 and still needs to improve his command. When rosters expand a late season call-up isn’t entirely out of the question if Sanchez has a dominating campaign in 2014.

Andrew Stoeten at DJF asks why are people talking about Ricky Romero as a potential starter for the Toronto Blue Jays? It’s a feel good story that’s easy to get on board with but the fact it’s even being discussed speaks volumes to the sad state of this Jays’ rotation. His last appearance wasn’t televised but Jay Blue gave us what I would describe as a lukewarm report of the outing. He still struggles to throw strikes at times and although the improvement (and usage) of his curveball is encouraging when Romero struggled in Triple-A last year it was mostly deeper into starts, when he was facing the lineup for the second or third time. I’m not entirely counting out but he still has a lot to show at Triple-A again this year if he wants a real shot at pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays. He starts today at 1:05 PM against the Detroit Tigers.

Stoeten links to this piece above but Mike Wilner of Sportsnet opines that it’s Todd Redmond who has the inside edge on the final spot in the starting rotation. Next in line would be J.A. Happ and Esmil Rogers, who will both likely break camp with the team. On the outside looking in he sees Marcus Stroman and Romero.

Ian Hunter at the Blue Jay Hunter talks about “taking the best team north” and how, to be completely blunt, it’s a fallacy. GM Alex Anthopoulos seems to pride himself on being able to expand the 25-man roster by stocking players with options in his farm system, which isn’t necessarily a terrible idea, but there’s comes a point it can only factor in so much as part of the decision making process. The Blue Jays don’t have the luxury of easing into this season and if that means exposing a fringe player to the waiver wire, so be it.

Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com also says “it appears Toronto is putting an emphasis on keeping players who are out of options” and added in a tweet he thinks Chad Jenkins should have stayed with the team as a long reliever.

Chisholm also writes that according to skipper John Gibbons, health is the only thing that will hold Happ back from starting the season in the Blue Jays’ rotation. Gibbons goes on to say “I think he’s going to have a heck of a year for us.” Good old Gibber.

In a third piece Gregor updates us on the health of closer Casey Janssen, who has been nursing a sore shoulder throughout spring training. He’s nearing a return to the mound and is scheduled to throw live batting practice today.

Tom Dakers of Bluebird Banter looks at the Jays’ back-up plan for Ryan Goins at second base and as you might expect, there’s not much of one. What’s the asking price for Stephen Drew come down to now, Mr. Anthopoulos? I have a feeling Drew ends up signing somewhere during the first week of the season so that he is not eligible to receive a qualifying offer, which can only be offered to players who have played an entire season with the same team. Will the Blue Jays step up and improve the mess at second base? Only time will tell.

Jesse Spector of the Sporting News is asked a fantastic question from @AndyMc929: “Do you think it’s possible/plausible/probable that AA & the oligarchs at Rogers have already decided to blow this Jays team up?” Spector says it’s plausible – what do you think?

Has AA and Rogers already decided to blow this Jays team up?

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Tags: Aaron Sanchez Casey Janssen Featured Popular Ricky Romero Toronto Blue Jays

  • John

    The only way to point this “sinking ship” in the right direction IS Drew, Goins is a mess (honestly Johnny Mac is an upgrade ++ offense to Goins) Stupid fans think we can carry him and that’s fine and dandy but fail to account for what the lineup will (not can) look like with Iz at SS or 3b for Extended periods +Goins, what it looks like with only Reyes a threat to steal, the very, very raw Sierra in the OF for extended periods, no back up CF to rest Ras who needs a break from time to time as not to be Adam Dunn at the dish and if that isn’t enough… No platoon for Lind… honestly is this a joke? .211 vs lefties and finally Navario yes he’s an upgrade over JP but the ALE isn’t Wrigley Field

    In conclusion, on the right team or if this one was constructed properly, yes the Goins experiment works, just not this team if there are asperations of something that resembles contention

  • Jason Kerr

    I like your assessment of the “best team going North” … I agree that it’s a farce and in Chisholm’s article Gibbons plainly states: “They’re not far away. If somebody falters, if we keep somebody in the bullpen and they falter, and we feel like they can help us more, they’ll be right back up. That’s just the way the game works. Some guys that will be on the team that are OUT OF OPTIONS were in the same position they are at one time or another. That’s the way the game works some times.” … I think AA and JG need to be on the same page with their comments, it’d probably help them to cover each others ass every once in a while.

  • http://www.messiahforhire.blogspot.com/ Pike Parker

    I do believe that Rogers is planning for a rebuild, but I don’t believe they’re planning to keep Anthopoulos around for it.

    • Andrew van Laar

      I think if Rogers is planning a rebuild, they should keep AA on for that as he did a fantastic job with our farm system and stockpiling great young prospects. However, when the time comes for the trades and free agent signings, AA should not be in charge for that. I think he seriously misjudges major leauge talent as we can see from the trades for MLB players to date.

      • Justin Jay

        That’s probably why AA should be considered a GM assistant or very highly thought of scout, right?

        • Andrew van Laar

          True you make a good point Justin. I guess you need to make assessments at both ends of the spectrum if you are the GM. I always wondered if it’s AA who has the poor evaluation skills for major leaugers or if it is advisers/scouts he listens too? Either way, if he is listening to his scouts, they have been wrong sooooo many times now that they should be let go.

          • Justin Jay

            The ironic part about this is that when AA took over as GM, he increased the scouting department to one of the largest in the majors. I think he has been better with drafting talent. I really feel it’s the development of that talent. Does Noah Syndergaard become a stud if he’s still in Toronto’s system?

    • John

      BASED ON WHAT? I think lol GTFO

  • Justin Jay

    This Romero crap needs to stop. I agree with Stoeten AND Law, which is a rarity for me. Romero looks almost AS bad as he did last year. The difference is he’s getting mostly inexperienced hitters to swing at his pitches. His pitches are sailing all over the map. He’s still often behind in the count. His best pitch he’s thrown for strikes is his curveball, which isn’t good. Let’s stop with this crap. If the Jays were smart, they’d let him start against a patient hitting team like Detroit, St.Louis, or Boston… and then we’ll see just how far along Romero is. His stuff isn’t bad, but his location is NOT good.

    • centerfield

      he starts against detroit today

      • Justin Jay

        Figures that it’s not on TV today…

  • Justin Jay

    Further crap is the idea of Sanchez starting. He’s not ready. His fastball is filthy and his curveball is better, but he’s still opening up to the left side of the plate.