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
With the cancellation of Wednesday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins, the Toronto Blue Jays will play a double-header on Thursday and as such, the team is allowed to carry a 26th man on the roster. Typically, this means an extra pitcher is summoned from the minors. However, with the Blue Jays already carrying an 8-man bullpen, they will go in another direction and call-up a position player.
As mentioned before, the presence of 8 men in the bullpen already makes the decision a no-brainer, giving Toronto an extra man on the bench. However, a sore hamstring for Colby Rasmus and back issues pushing Adam Lind from the line-up have further exasperated an already short bench.
Rasmus’s injury forced the Blue Jays to employ an outfield on Tuesday that consisted of Melky Cabrera in left, Jose Bautista in center, and Moises Sierra in right field. The ensuing quality of defense left some (alright, maybe just me) wondering when the Twins would start playing the Benny Hill theme song as Bautista and Sierra both looked out of place.
The presence of Gose will at least ensure that a natural center fielder is in the game for at least the second game of double-header. Should Lind’s back injury require a stint on the disabled list, Gose may spend a few more days with the team, depending on the status of Rasmus.
The 23-year-old Gose has spent parts of each of the last two seasons with the Blue Jays and owns a lifetime .240/.294/.361 slash-line at the Major League level. He possesses game-changing speed, but has yet to harness his bat enough to make the jump to the majors a permanent feature. Namely, Gose has struggled making consistent, hard contact with the ball.
In nine games with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons in 2014, Gose has hit just .242, but he’s shown a stronger eye at the plate leading to a .375 on-base percentage in his first 41 plate appearances.