Mar 8, 2014; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Anthony Gose (8) slides back to first base in the fifth inning of the spring training exhibition game against the Minnesota Twins at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Has Anthony Gose made Colby Rasmus expendable?

In wake of a seven-game win streak that saw the Toronto Blue Jays take the top spot in the AL East, many fans of this team saw production from unexpected sources. One of these players to step up and perform very well is centre fielder Anthony Gose. After Colby Rasmus injured his hamstring that saw him go on the disable list on May 15th, Anthony Gose was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo and it looks like he does not want to go back.

A well written piece by Jays Journal Editor Kyle Franzoni stated that Toronto is getting production from Steve Tolleson, Kevin Pillar and Anthony Gose in the current win streak.

Anthony Gose was acquired by Toronto through a series of trades. After the Blue Jays traded Roy Halladay to Philadelphia Phillies they quickly flipped one of the prospects they got in the deal (Michael Taylor) to Oakland for Brett Wallace. Alex Anthopoulos wanted Anthony Gose in the original Roy Halladay deal but the Phillies refused. After trading Gose to Houston in the “other Roy deal” (Roy Oswalt) AA didn’t miss a beat in quickly trading Brett Wallace for Gose. Baseball is a funny game isn’t it?

Colby Rasmus was also acquired by Toronto in a series of trades. For simplicity we shall focus on the key players in these deals. First Toronto acquired Edwin Jackson from the White Sox hours before they flipped him to St. Louis who gave up Colby Rasmus, who fell out of favour of former manager Tony La Russa.

Colby has shown many Blue Jays fans the promise of his incredible talent. He has had streaks that make all baseball fans drool of what he can do if he stays on the field and find some consistence. For example, last season Colby hit 22 homeruns in 118 games. If you compare that to the Blue Jays’ number three hitter Jose Bautista who is known for great power, who also played 118 games, he hit 28 homeruns- only six homeruns more than Rasmus, both great power.

The only knock against Rasmus is that he strikes out at a rate that is 27.3 % throughout his career. His strikeouts also seems to come at inappropriate times. It seems that when he is given an opportunity to drive in runs he either drives them all in or strikes out completely.

Now back to the recent production of Anthony Gose. He seems to have put things together. He is using his speed to get on base whether it is bunting or just simply beating out a groundball. Gose finally realized that he can’t slug the ball like Bautista or Rasmus, but he can run just as fast as a ball hit by either of them. He uses his speed to create a havoc on the bases and that can be used in many ways to win a game. Whether he is distracting the opposing pitcher or just simply stealing a run Gose has made it exciting to watch Blue Jays game- just like Rajai Davis did.

The biggest difference with Gose’s recent trip to the big leagues is that he doesn’t seem intimated by major league pitching. He has a new approach at the plate. He is taking pitches the other way and is more than willing to bunt his way aboard if necessary.

On the defensive end, both Colby and Anthony can track the ball down with the best of them. They both have great instincts and use their speed to track down any ball hit in centre.

I know coming into the season all Blue Jays fans wanted to extend Rasmus’ contract since he is set to explore free agency after this season. However the fact that Toronto is playing great baseball with Gose in the lineup and the need for starting pitching, it is possible that Toronto could explore trading Colby Rasmus to aid the need for a starter. And with a talent that is Colby Rasmus Toronto can get a significant return in form of a starting pitcher.

But I would like to say that this is only a small sample size and I’m sure Toronto wouldn’t trade Colby Rasmus without being sure that Gose is ready to take over as the “centre fielder of the future.”

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Tags: Anthony Gose Colby Rasmus Toronto Blue Jays

  • Ewan Ross

    What the hell is this. You cant write an entire article about the premise that Gose is ready to replace Rasmus and then invalidate the entire article in the final paragraph.

  • JP

    I would have traded Rasmus last July when he was hot…….Absolutely he should be dealt and well before the deadline…..Gose should remain in CF as he is the better player……There is zero chance the Jays will re-sign Rasmus, so moving him sooner rather than later makes sense……and u can’t hold on to him for a draft pick comp because it would take a QO of 15 mil which would be blatantly stupid.

    • Michael Wray

      Unless his play falls off a cliff or he gets hurt again I’d say the QO even at $15M is a given. If he takes it great, short-term contracts are great and if not nbd hope for a comp pick out of it when he signs somewhere else. My only concern is that comp pick isn’t guaranteed to be a first rounder if a team has a projected pick or they’ve already given up their first rounder. Agree with you that zero chance Jays resign him.

      • JP

        Have to disagree. I think there is zero chance of a QO for Colby….not worth half that and money has to be available to re-sign Melky…..though I feel there will be more freed up by letting Santos and Morrow go…..have to spend to keep Janssen though…..we would be screwed if offered the QO and it was accepted…….Gose is the better player anyway….maybe Pillar as well, though not yet.

        • jays4life77

          What are you smoking dude? Gose AND Pillar are better then Colby? In what world? Colby plays great defense, probably should be a gold glover out there. Has good speed, sure he may not steal but thats not his game. Gose hits for a better average? Where and when cuz not even his minor league numbers bear that to be true. The ONLY thing gose has better then colby are arm strength and speed. Other then those its not even close Rasmus is far superior then gose in every other facet of the game. Just because gose has had a few good games this year means NOTHING lets be realistic here. And Pillar….wow that is ridiculous im not even going to comment on that one.

    • jim patterson

      Gose is the more valuable player, better speed stronger arm hitting improving. Rasmus has the occasional home run threat and strikes out too much

  • 70-92

    I’ve never liked Colby and, while he is CLEARLY the better player than Gose, I would love to trade him for a starter since his next contract (5 years, $75M?) will end up being a huge disaster because he is such an up-and-down kinda player. Gose at $0.5M is a much better value and will hopefully save the Jays some cash so that AA can get off his ass and get a real 4th starter.

    • Michael Wray

      I don’t think Colby gets traded, the Jays will likely hold on to him for the rest of this year in order to at least get a comp pick if he leaves. Probably has very little trade value as he’s in the last year of his contract and if he’s traded and walks, the team he’s traded to won’t get a comp pick. In a perfect world sure, trade Colby for a starter but I don’t think you’ll get much back by moving him. Jays are probably better off holding on to him and hoping he nets a first round pick if he leaves. And I actually like Colby but have little faith that the Jays will be able to extend or sign him.

      • 70-92

        while we disagree about our liking of Colby, I think your analysis is spot on. I think they might end up trying too hard to extend him, but he will likely leave to go back South again where he would be much more comfortable.

        the truth is that I don’t know if Rasmus OR Gose is the answer . . . maybe Gose until one of the Dunedin kids is ready . . .

    • JP

      How can u say he is better than Gose…not even close…the only thing he does better is hit the long ball. Gose is the better fielder, has the better arm, by far the better runner, better bunter, better average hitter and better on base, better plate discipline and much younger and will get better.

      • Michael Wray

        For sure Gose has the tools but he has yet to prove himself at the major league (or even the minor league) level. And Colby is no slouch is center, he’s probably one of the most underrated defensive CFs in the game. Colby will strike out a lot but also gets on base at a fair clip (8.6% career) and his average very much seems to come down to luck on balls in play. Overall, it’s really not even close Rasmus is the far superior player but on a cost-control basis I can see the temptation to let him go and hope Gose plays up to his potential.

      • 70-92

        view stats. watch games. sorry my friend, but it’s not even close . . . Gose is a slap hitter, strikes out a ton too and is a push in CF (i.e. they are both great)

  • SM

    I’m amazed at how short every Toronto fan’s leash has been with Colby. They’ve always hated him for something he’s never done. Look at the man’s numbers, he was EASILY the most valuable player last season (4.6 WAR) and his defense is stellar. Yes he doesn’t run as fast as Gose but the lines he takes are amazing! You may argue about the accuracy of his throwing but don’t even question his ability. Also hes quicker than he appears and can steal bases.

    The main strength from him is with his bat. Have you ever seen those moon-shots?! His K rate is high BUT HE HAS ALSO BEEN THE MOST CLUTCH HITTER for the Jays – his avg jumps with RISP – more so than JB, EE and Reyes (based on last year) Colby is a shy, modest player, the likes of whom don’t exist anymore. For some odd reason people like to pain him as greedy – I’d like to say just make him an offer and see how much he wants to stay in Toronto.

    Gose has learned a few tricks, and deserves to be on the bench this season at least – he’s showing hes got MLB level in him (finally!) but is he ready for to start everyday? I don’t think so. He’s been patient taking pitches, but once MLB pitchers realize that hes not swinging, they’re gonna throw strikes. And Gose to me doesn’t come across as someone whos gonna have a high BABIP (Bat avg. on balls in play) and will be at risk of strikeouts and groundouts.

    • Andrew van Laar

      1. When you are referencing his ability, what are you referencing? You are taking about his arm accuracy previously. If you think he has a good arm you are sadly mistaken about that.

      2. He’s quick yes but don’t you dare say he steal bases. Colby NEVER steals bases for a guy with the speed he has. It’s embarrassing. He has stolen nine… NINE bases since the start of 2011. That is sad. To put that in perspective, Jose Molina has stolen two less in the same time…

      3. Ya he is not clutch. Just because he is better than other players doesnt mean he is good. It just means the other players are not great with RISP either. Last year was the only year since 2011 since he had above average RISP numbers.
      4. Last year was a complete anomaly for Rasmus. SInce 2010, his great rookie year, he has done jack all until last year.

      5. He strikes out at a rate of over a K a game. He is a blackhole in the lineup most nights and it seems (this is an eye test. I don’t have stats to back it up) that he goes on his offensive spurts when the team is hitting great but can’t pick things up with everyone else is cold. He’s great when hes not needed.

      6. I seriously question his baseball IQ. Two reasons 1) he has horrible pitch recognition hence the crazy K numbers 2) for a guy with his speed, there is no excuse to have 9 SB since 2011.

      7.BAIBP is a luck stat. I hate the stat but if you are going to use it, use it the right way to measure the ‘luck’ a play has when he hits a ball in play.

      • McQ50

        Andrew i couldn’t agree with you more about Colby. There is no excuse for this lack of running on the bases. I went to around 10 games last year and sat in the 100 OF section and there was atleast 6 games that I watched Colby get burned on balls over his head. Colby has speed but Gose is hands down faster.

      • brad

        Andrew….. boo hiss.

        I’m a bit late to the party but I’m gunna comment anyways.

        1.,2. Yeah, i’ll concede the poor arm and base stealing but CF isn’t necessarily a place you need a big arm anyways… great routes in the outfield and a fantastic base runner outside of stealing… so I’m fine with a poor arm and no steal.

        3. This is where the boo hiss starts. Cosby raises his average by 15 points with risp(career) and his ops goes up 50 points. Just because his average is still not food doesn’t mean he isn’t clutch…. shows improvement over normal numbers in key situations…. clutch.

        4. You can’t call a 26 year old season an anomaly… ever. If he had been terrible for ten seasons and had only two that were good I could give it to you but he doesn’t and even if he did, breakouts still happen. note: Bautista, Jose

        5. Yeah, he has a poor approach. I think your eye test is wrong though. In the anthony goes world of striking out though, I think I take rasmus.

        6. What about his exceptional positioning in the field and great decisions on where to throw the ball? Poor pitch recognition and poor ability to read a pitcher is not indicative of baseball IQ. His approach at the plate is the same as Bautista’s…. he just can’t recognize the curve…. which is a big flaw to be sure but it also isn’t his IQ

        7. You should know better! Babip is also a great way to ballpark the kind of contact a player makes. While I don’t agree with the original statement that gose will have a low babip(speed kills), it was a perfectly acceptable use of the stat.

        I don’t think rasmus is a keeper but until gose proves he can sustain his hitting, he is no better. I know you hate rasmus but he deserves more credit than that

        • Andrew van Laar

          1-2. A big/accurate arm sure is necessary in CF! I will give you that most CF’s don’t have one but on deep flies or marginal doubles, having a big arm can be the difference between keeping a guy on his current base and taking an extra.

          3.I agree partially with you. Yes he raises his average with RISP but that doesn’t mean he is good with RISP. It’s like if at work I work really slow completing website and then its crunch time and my boss puts on the pressure to complete something faster and my faster mode if the normal working speed of everyone else. I am still a crappy developer, just not as crappy as I usually am :P (For the record in case my boss sees I am an awesome worker… I should be given mucho raises!)

          4. That is fair you are right. I will cede this point to you good sir.

          5. No way José! Rasmus flails like he it trying to hit a horse galloping off into an Alabama swamp. At least Gose can switch up his game a lay down a bunt or do a little slap stick swing to create something. Rasmus is a mash or strikeout guy and I despise those types of players.

          6. This one there are no numbers to back up either of our points haha. Just to me you either know how to do things or you don’t. If you have all the physical talents but you can’t make the mental adjustments, something mentally is not right in your game.

          7. I know I know… I read that after I wrote it and got mad at myself. I hate how people use BABIP. I just assumed the OP was usuing it in the ‘luck stat’ category. I feel like Gose has more control of his bat and could pick holes when he puts the ball in play and like you said, his speed can really help beat out a solid number of grounder each season.

          Just so you know Brad, my argument is based on cost versus production. I really don’t like Colby this is true, but I will hate him even more if he gets paid in the realm of top 5 CF’s in the game. The production he brings at say $15mill AAV over a 5 year contract is not worth what I would rather have with Gose going into arbitration and maybe a year or two of FA (sorry not enough time to check what his contract status would be).

          • brad

            The way I see it, both Gose and Rasmus are 3-4 tool players. Glove wise I think it’s a wash with both being +, Gose has the arm and the speed, Rasmus has the power and still makes more contact(though neither have a very good hit tool) based on past performance(and this season in AAA for Gose). Working on the premise that Rasmus’ inability to hit anything that curves is based on his terrible pitch recognition(hit tool) rather than his approach I also think he is the smarter player. Value wise, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone offered him top 5 CF money…. because he is probably one of the most productive(numbers wise) 6 or 7 CFs in the league. For the Jays though I don’t think it makes sense. I really wanted to dislike Gose……but have been really impressed with his approach in the majors(and his not before seen ability to lay off the breaking ball) and think he has a pretty high ceiling(still only 23). If he can keep the same type of approach at the dish after teams readjust to him then the downgrade from Rasmus will be pretty small. Still a downgrade but the jays can improve much more easily in the rotation with 15 million a year still in the wallet. What I worry about is the fact that CF is such a weak position(which is why I can say Rasmus is top 6-7). If Gose doesn’t pan out, there really aren’t a lot of replacements kicking around…..and god knows anything else from the farm is a lot of years away

          • Andrew van Laar

            Two Words… Dalton Pompey (Hey I can dream that he is ready next year right? :P)

    • booo

      Mvp on one of the worst teams.. they are winning without him. If they can get something for Rasmus I say go for it.

  • RyanMueller

    I like this article for the simple debate it has stirred up. I wouldn’t trade Rasmus, nor would I re-sign him before first trying to re-sign Melky. If Melky decides to peace out than turn your attention to Rasmus. I don’t think we have seen the best of Rasmus yet, but this that he is encompasses everything that we want to get away from as an organization. We need to build a team that can hit for average and drive up the opposing pitchers pitch count, something Colby can’t do with any consistency….either can Gose for that matter….or Pillar (zero walks). I would like to see AA do in CF what he did with Navarro at the catcher position. Get a guy that get on-base and possibly hit for average…..not sure who fits that description but that isn’t my job.

    I agree with Andrew that he appears to lack the necessary baseball IQ to take the next step. At 27 he could still take the next step but his next step could easily be backwards.

    As for Gose I wish people would stop labelling this guy as a base stealer. Sure he has speed but he runs into way too many outs to be considered in the same class as Rajai Davis (the most under-rated Blue Jays…ever)

    • Andrew van Laar

      Man I loved Rajai… Everytime he got on base I got soooo excited because I knew the poop was going to hit the fan!

  • jim patterson

    Gose is a keeper Rasmus not so much

  • Tanthalas

    Gose has been productive, but it’s 40 AB’s! Josh Thole is also hitting .360 in 50 AB’s. Tolleson has a .993 OPS in 46 AB’s. Shall we sign them to 5-year extensions now?? Why are people so willing to forget about the concept of small sample size with Gose, and so quick to embrace the dream of his potential?

    It would be one thing if Gose had been raking in AAA, that you could chalk up his improved performance with the Jays as his maturation as a player, but he was not; his numbers were pedestrian. So all we have is a 40 AB sample that has seemingly half the fanbase willing to chuck Rasmus, a guy who had a 4.6 WAR season last year, for a bucket of balls.

    I honestly don’t get it. Gose will almost certainly be our starting CF in the future, but it’s way too early to just hand him the spot now over a proven performer when we’re trying to win a division, based on 40 AB’s.

  • ct

    Wow, who wrote this. Trade a proven home run hitter, and keep Gose, who can’t even hit for singles.
    Are you even watching the team.
    I have watched and played for 55 years, and Anthony Gose should only be used as pinch runner.

  • ct

    Wow, who wrote this. Are you even watching the team. Trade a proven home run hitter, who is also a good fielder, and keep Anthony Gose, who can’t even hit singles. Gose should only be put in as a pinch runner.I can’t
    even believe he’s an every day player .Wow

  • ct

    The Blue jays need to get rid of RA Dickey, Steve Delabar, and Gose. Can’t imagine Toronto in the play offs
    with these players.

  • ct

    since my post 3 days ago, Gose has struck out 10 times, got picked off, and bunted through 3 straight strikes.
    He’s pain full to watch, like a deer in the head lights. He’s an average minor player

  • Ct

    just watched Gose hit into another double play with bases loaded. He has been stuck on 4 rbis for 2 months.
    He hurts the team every game