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?

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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.”