For the second installation of our Blue Jays Year in Review: Cups of Coffee, we’re going to take a look at the group of guys who had a quick “cup of coffee” with the big league club in 2014. Some may be back for another cup in 2015, some may stay longer. Others may end up sipping another team’s java next year.
The former Blue Jays draft pick (2007) found his way back to Toronto from the Minnesota Twins. He was yet another right handed bat the Blue Jays tried to bring aboard. Or, maybe the Jays saw that he has a bit of a history playing second base. Not that that was ever an option. At the end of the day, he was really just added as depth. It is hard to imagine the club really thought he’d be a big league contributor. And, he wasn’t.
He did being a decent enough glove to all 3 outfield positions this year.
His versatility alone can be seen as a positive. Hey, I’m trying.
Hitting .267 in AAA this season, he was not able to bring a consistent bat with him for his time with the Blue Jays. In 32 games with the big league club, he hit .156 with a home run and 2 RBI. With injuries and a revolving door of minor leaguers, Mastroianni was given a look, but just could not put on a convincing performance to force his way onto the big league bench.
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The Blue Jays designated him for assignment and he elected free agency. Good luck to him. He’ll land somewhere on a minor league deal. Maybe.
The 35 year old had bounced around MLB and Japan his whole career. He hit a dramatic homerun for Tamp Bay in 2011 to help send the Rays to the post season. Unfortunately for him, he hasn’t had much of an impact since. In fact, the Blue Jays opted to call up Juan Francisco early on in the 2014 season instead of him.
Johnson is a lefty bat that brings a good approach to the plate. He has some power, too:
It should be noted that he hit THAT homerun against a left handed pitcher. He also brings a reliable glove at first base.
Johnson is an aging first baseman. Yes, he can hit a bit. But, considering his age and what he brings, he simply found himself wearing a red shirt on an excursion to a strange planet; an expendable crewman. While it was curious that the Jays chose Francisco over Johnson early on he did nothing to make them regret it, including getting injured at the end of July.
The Blue Jays are in a position (right now) of having too many options for first basemen. With Edwin Encarncaion, Adam Lind (for now), Juan Francisco, John Mayberry all able to play 1st, there is simply no room for Johnson. The only opportunity he has with this organization is a AAA job. He recognized that when he elected free agency when he was designated for assignment.
Originally in the Blue Jays system, Diaz spent last year with the Red Sox and got himself a World Series ring.
The Blue Jays brought him back on a minor league deal. Yet, he started the season on the big league club in place of an injured Jose Reyes. He would be called up and down a lot in 2014. Then eventually, he would give way to Steve Tolleson and Munenori Kawasaki as “fill ins”.
Diaz brings a pretty slick glove to the short stop position.
Watching him play short reminded several people of John McDonald. If you watch Diaz highlights, he even has a thrown similar to Johnny Mac.
Unfortunately, his glove is not the only thing that is reminiscent of MacDonald. In fact, Johnny Mac could hit better. In 23 games, Diaz hit .158. He did pick up his first MLB hit (and RBI) this season that drove in Brett Lawrie on April 1st. It was downhill from there.
The Blue Jays designated him for assignment at the end of the season. He elected free agency but then signed a minor league deal with the Jays in October. Honestly, this is a good move. He provides good defensive depth. He should not be relied on for regular at bats, but can hold the fort during minor DL stints.
I was really excited with the Reimold experiment. The Blue Jays were spinning their tires trying to find a right handed bat that could be plugged in on occasion. They claimed him off waivers in July. Having watched him play in Baltimore over the last couple years and liking what I saw, I thought that maybe the Blue Jays had found their answer. I was wrong.
In 22 games, he chipped in a couple home runs and 9 RBI to go with a .212 average. His batting average is nearly .200 pts higher against LH starters than RH. (.324 vs .125). He provided some heroics this season, too.
He had a two home run game against the Astros. He brought versatility that the Jays really needed. He could play the outfield corners and even DH. He very well could have been the answer to their lefty struggles.
Except he wasn’t. He ended up striking out twice as many times as he hit the ball (22 vs 11). And, his versatility was not so appealing when making plays like this:
In fairness, the play was ruled a single. But, um…
In July, Reimold went to the DL because of his calf. He was sent down to AAA in August to make room for Kevin Pillar.
After his demotion, Reimold was claimed by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Obviously, nearing the end of the season, the Blue Jays weighed the risk of losing Reimold and found it to be an acceptable loss.