Jays Shaking Things Up, Begin Making Moves Throughout the Minors


It feels like many Jays fans are getting impatient and that they want to see all of the young guns that the club has in the minors ASAP. The problem is that such action isn’t always wise, particularly when done in a hoard instead of one piece at a time. I’m as anxious as anyone to see all of the young grit in the lineup and am very happy to see Eric Thames getting another shot, and am even happier to see him hit in the 2-hole. His isn’t the only move the Jays have made of late, and some are questionable, while others were obviously required.

Here are the latest moves made by the Jays in no certain order of importance:

Travis Snider to Center-Field

I know this will be a controversial move and that many fans will question the reasoning. However, if you’ve watched Corey Patterson attempt to look half-decent in CF of late, or have seen how horrible Rajai Davis has been at the plate, you can understand why the Jays are willing to give Snider a shot in CF.

Here are my internal thoughts on this move, which was announced by John Farrell when he said that it is where Snider will play once healthy in AAA. First, this has “heighten his trade value” written all over it. Why? Well, the Jays know that Anthony Gose is their future CF. There’s no way they’re giving up on his speed and rocket of an arm manning CF in the near future. Therefore, any “trial” of Snider in CF is meant to increase his versatility. Second, Brett Lawrie is going to man 3B sometime soon, and Jose Bautista will return to RF, making LF the only opening in the OF in the very near future. Enter my last point, which is the fact that Eric Thames, and quite possibly Moises Sierra eventually, could be manning LF for the foreseeable future. That would make Rajai Davis and/or Travis Snider 4th outfielders once Anthony Gose makes it to The Show.

If Snider can show that he can hit 20-25 HRs with a decent average and man CF adequately, he all of the sudden becomes a very valuable trade chip, so long as he gets to prove this for some time at the MLB level. When speaking of trades with the Mets and many other clubs, having the possibility of increasing his versatility and his natural power make him a potent trade piece. I truly believe that either Snider will become a trade chip or will become a 4th outfielder with the Jays, splitting a lot of time with Eric Thames.

Drew Hutchison from LoA to HiA

This is old news now, but I have been too busy to write about it lately, so I wanted to add my thoughts on his promotion. GREAT TO SEE!! His first game in HiA resulted in yet another strong 6 IP with 5 hits allowed, 1 unearned run, 1 walk and 5 strike outs. Talk about making a statement.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Drew is within the top 3 pitchers in the Jays organization when it comes to Command, and that his Command is allowing him the chance to dominate at his current levels. The biggest test for him will be when he begins facing AA hitters. He also faces the challenge of becoming more efficient, particularly as he faces more patient hitters, so that he can pitch deeper into games. However, with his performances thus far, Drew is certainly making himself a candidate for a possible call-up sometime in 2012 and he has been one of the best pitching prospects for the Jays in 2011.

Congrats Drew, keep up the great work!

Brett Cecil Recalled from AAA, Zach Stewart Sent to AA

OK, one of these I understand, the other I do not. I understand calling Brett Cecil up after his last 3 starts because, from what I hear, he has worked out what the Jays wanted him to work on. With Jesse Litsch likely to make a return as well sometime soon, possibly taking the place of Jo-Jo Reyes in the rotation, the Jays also need another LHP in the rotation. There’s no doubt that his AAA performances were up and down, but Cecil deserves a chance to prove himself once again. Stewart, on the other hand, was hit harder than his ERA would indicate, with 26 hits given up in 16.2IP. I think the Jays may have wanted to save him from getting hit hard and having a ton of runs scored on him while ironing out a few things in the minors. He certainly showed that he has great stuff to work with, but he still needs a little work overall.

The move I don’t understand is why send Stewart to AA? He needs to be tested at a higher level if possible, along with Kyle Drabek. Actually, Drabek’s performance in AAA may be exactly why the Jays decided to send Stewart to AA instead. Drabek has allowed 12 hits in only 4.2 innings of work and has a whopping 17.36 ERA to show for it. Add in 10 BB and 4 Ks, and that’s a pretty horrific line. I’m not saying that Stewart would do as badly in AAA, but perhaps the Jays don’t want Drabek’s “negative reaction” to these kinds of performances to rub off on Stewart.

Ronald Uviedo Promoted to AAA Las Vegas

Remember Dana Eveland? He was the 2010 version of Jo-Jo Reyes with the Jays, and when he departed the Jays landed Ronal Uviedo(24). The Jays tried him in a starting role briefly in 2010 and decided that a move to the pen was beneficial on all counts. This season, Uviedo threw in 24 games in AA before his promotion, managing a 4.28 ERA, 35 hits in 33.2 IP, 13 BB, and 39 Ks. Double-A hitters managed a .267 average against him. He takes his spot in a veteran Vegas pen and actually has a chance to get a call if the Jays decide to move some of their many veteran pen arms as the trade deadline approaches. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in AAA to see whether or not he has what it takes to make it to The Show.

Other Minor Moves:

  • OF Matt Newman Assigned to SS Vancouver from the GCL Jays. Matt was signed as a Non-Drafted FA.
  • RHP Myles Duvall (Bluefield) and Brand Kaye, also a NDFAs were signed.
  • RP Mike Hinckley and Zach Outman were released.
  • Signed RHP Kramer Champlin, the 33rd rd pick of the Jays in 2011. He is a 21-year old from Olympia Washington who stands at 6’6″ 200 lbs. We’ll have a full bio up on him before too long.
  • Signed RHP Adaric Kelly, a 2010 draftee. Mark my words, he is one prospect eveyone needs to watch as he could jump up the charts very quickly.

– MG

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