The Jays are trimming the spring training roster and starting to get down to establishing who is leading which battles. Oddly enough, they are also adding names to the list of players in camp! The Jays signed LF Chris Aguila, a 31 yr old who last played with the Mets and their AAA affiliate in 2009. He hit 29 HRs for them in AAA while sporting a .295 average and .378 OBP, not too bad for a guy sitting around picking his nose this spring. Can you say Randy Ruiz part deux? He also stole 13 bases, so he’s not a slow footed fellow. The reason he’s still in the minors is because his performance was lacking when called up. Since 2004 he has had 230 AB, got 53 hits for a .230 BA, had 3 HRs in 2004 and none thereafter, and stole a total of 2 bases. He’s listed at 5’11” 180 lbs, so I’m not sure where his 2009 power outburst came from. It was the first time he it more than 15 HRs in a season, so it could also be an anomaly.Chances are that he’ll head for AAA and the Jays will use him for depth in the OF.
The Jays also assigned (added) 27 yr old CF Aaron Matthews (AAA) and 28 yr old RHP reliever Edward Buzachero (AAA) to the spring training camp. I’m guessing that the Jays want to assess what they have here and whether the additions will replace them in AAA. Buzachero is more intriguing than Matthews in that he actually has a lot of saves to his credit in the minors and very decent stats. In 2009, he threw 75.2 innings, had 57 Ks, walked 14, maintained a 0.833 Whip, and a 2.38 ERA. I could see him getting a shot somewhere in MLB, but am not sure how the Jays could ever fit him in with what they have on board.Matthews is more of a 5th OFer that is used off the bench and doesn’t really offer any 1 outstanding tool. His speed and power are both low, but he does hit for decent average.
Those are the 3 additions, now here’s the subtractions and some other Jays ST news:
- Jesse Carlson may help clear up part of the pen picture, as his knee is giving him some pain. The medical staff seem more confident he’ll be ok than he is in this article. We’ll see, but this may solidify the chances that the Jays keep one of Merkin Valdez or Zechry Zinicola on board going into the season.
- Edwin Encarnacion is still not ready to play in game action as his wrist has yet to fully heal. This may allow the Jays to use Mike McCoy at 3B to begin the season and to bat him at the lead off spot. The other option would be Brad Emaus who has looked fairly good in camp as well. The MLBastien blog has Edwin missing the next road trip and adds that chances are he’ll begin the season on the DL. Finally, the Jays could use Jose Bautista at 3B, as he has a lot of experience there. Either way, the Jays have enough depth to cover Edwin’s spot for a decent amount of time, so they won’t be rushing Edwin back. For those who were hoping for a comeback year for Edwin, it’s likely that it won’t happen power wise, as wrist injuries tend to sap the power away from hitters.
- Brad Mills and Casey Fien are both headed to AAA Las Vegas, along with 1B/3B Brett Wallace who is headed to the minor league camp with 1B David Cooper. The first 3 are candidates to show up in MLB at some point this season, while Cooper may remain in the minors the majority of the season unless injuries pile up.
- The Jays still have yet to announce or confirm the Adeiny Hechaverria (still trying to decide what the real spelling of his name is) signing, but the word on the street is that it will be worth $10 million over 4 years, at which time Adeiny will be 25. Once the deal is announced, it’ll be interesting to see when he makes his first appearance as a Jay, and how well he does once he gets there. I would still believe that the highest level he’ll start at is AAA with a chance to be called up in June if he’s tearing it up down in Las Vegas. Otherwise, he may begin in AA with promotions from there.
- I’m very happy to announce that Jays Journal will be getting a makeover at some point in the near future, so if you visit and see this don’t be alarmed, it’s just a major improvement of the site done through the hard work of the staff here at FanSided. If you want a peak at the new format and look, take a peak at Kings of Kauffman who received the first MLB upgrade!