Sean Nollin To Start in AA And What Else We Learned Today From Alex Anthopoulos
Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Earlier today Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos participated in a live blog over at the Toronto Sun. It was a refreshing change of pace to see Anthopoulos answer questions from fans, instead of rabid reporters. Not only did the fans get to ask a varying array of questions, but Anthopoulos got to reveal a more personable side of himself that we rarely get to see.
Here are some of the highlights!
Q: Who do you have starting second base?
"Right now Maicer Izturis is the front runner but he won’t be handed the job. He’ll be competing with Emilio Bonifacio in spring training.-Anthopoulos"
While I know Izturis provides plus defense and a solid OBP for a #9 guy, I wish that Anthopoulos would at least consider using Bonifacio as a super-utility guy in the same way Ben Zobrist is used all around the field. That way, it’d be a lot easier to benefit from his excellent speed that allowed him to steal 30 bases in only 274 PA last year. Maybe there’s something that Anthopoulos’ scouts see in Maicer that we’re not seeing (which is a very real possibility).
Q: Will the Rogers Centre ever see a grass field for baseball and if so when can we expect to see it?
"It’s been discussed quite a bit recently. I’m not sure anything has been decided. Paul Beeston has said he doesn’t see it happening for the next 5 years and he’s the boss so I’d take that to the bank.-Anthopoulos"
Ouch. It’s been no secret that the Blue Jays organization doesn’t appear to want to bring in grass to the Rogers Centre, but to write it off for 5 more years is brutal, especially if the team is capable of contending for the World Series Championship. It’s entirely possible that IF the team goes on to do well in the playoffs in the near future that this stance will be reversed, but it looks like artificial turf is going to be the way she goes for the next little while.
Q: Alex, if the Jays need to tap into the minor league pitching depth this season, who do you see as the first players to get called up?
"We have a bunch of players we signed as minor league free agents that will be on the short list of callups. As for young starting pitching prospects I would say Sean Nolin really has put himself in a great position. He will be on an innings limit and will start in New Hampshire but it would not surprise me to see him be ready for the major leagues this year.-Anthopoulos"
This is very interesting to note, as we look to the near future of the Blue Jays. While the team has a few pitchers working their way up to the Majors (like Matt Smoral, Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna, Marcus Stroman, etc.), it looks like Nolin will be the first guy on that list of possibles to be called up to the show as a starter if push comes to shove. Hopefully Nolin will get more time than less to prepare for such an assignment, however at 23 years old his time to shine is very soon.
The rest of the questions and answers provide little to no new insight on the club, with the exception of funny questions like “Do you have a secret twitter account?” (he doesn’t), or “Does Rogers pay your cell phone bill?” (they do), an d “…are we going to see your band’s videos posted on Youtube?” (he pretends they don’t exist, but they totally do). But this blogger was able to cut through the myriad of useless questions and get Anthopoulos to spill his most inner secrets via Twitter question.
Give the entire blog a read: it was quite entertaining!