Spring Training 2015: Blue Jays out of options and on the bubble
Feb 24, 2015; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Steve Tolleson (18) walks out of the batting cage during morning workouts at Bobby Mattick Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Then we have Steve Tolleson, who is part of the many-headed monster vying for the second base job, with the runner-up also likely to win a utility role in the infield. Given the fact that he’s seen 17 at-bats this spring, the Blue Jays seem anxious to have rookie Devon Travis win the job, and I’m alright with that. Additionally, both Munenori Kawasaki and Ramon Santiago have looked really good in limited work.
However, Maicer Izturis lingers on the outside of this competition, and if he can prove healthy, the Blue Jays may be inclined to give the veteran the first crack. With Santiago and Kawasaki on minor league deals, and Ryan Goins and Travis having options left this year, the Blue Jays can decide to get sentimental and keep Tolleson around for the opening weeks of the season. They’ve done this in past seasons, opting to keep the veteran without options over the better choices, and then making a move once that decision failed. However, I just can’t see the Blue Jays keeping both Tolleson and Valencia, lefty-mashers with no true position on a team that is decidedly right-handed at the plate.
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Finally, there is the bullpen, which we can say will likely include Cecil, Aaron Loup, Chad Jenkins, and Todd Redmond. Either Aaron Sanchez or Marco Estrada (or perhaps both) will also slot in out there, depending on how the rotation shakes out. That gives the Blue Jays six men in a seven-man bullpen (do not say 8-man to me already Mr. Gibbons). And what of Steve Delabar?
However, neither Barnes nor Drabek have really wowed the team thus far, and neither really strikes me as someone who could step in and seize that competition. Additionally, minor league invitees Colt Hynes, Gregory Infante, and Wilton Lopez have looked much more impressive. Again, the Jays could shock the world and go with the sentimental pick here and give Drabek the shot, but I feel like even they have gotten sick of that game.
And yes, you’ll kindly notice that I failed to mention Hendriks thus far. That’s because no matter what he gets done this spring, the Blue Jays will either trade him for whatever they can get at the end of camp, or Toronto will try to sneak him through waivers to join the staff in Buffalo. There is no way he’ll be with the Blue Jays when the 25-man roster flies to New York for Opening Day.
Needless to say, the Blue Jays have some interesting choices to make before the end of camp. Not necessarily good choices, but interesting nonetheless.