Blue Jays trim roster, option Matt West and Preston Guilmet, reassign Gregory Infante


The competition to make the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen just got a little tighter, with the Blue Jays sending a trio of arms to minor league camp on Saturday. The team announced (h/t Brendan Kennedy) after Saturday’s game with the Yankees that they had used options on right-handed relievers Matt West and Preston Guilmet, while also reassigning Gregory Infante to minor league camp.

Claimed off waivers earlier this winter from the Texas Rangers, Matt West was an intriguing arm that some felt may have had an outside chance at making the Blue Jays bullpen this spring. However, the 26-year-old never really figured into Toronto’s picture and it became apparent pretty quickly that the team wanted him more for depth in the minors. Thus far this spring, he’s thrown just 2.1 innings and struck out 3 batters. He had surrendered just one earned run, but that came in the form of a home run as part of Thursday’s meltdown against the Orioles.

West will start the season in Buffalo, where he’ll continue to build his minor league resume. A converted third baseman, West owns a 4.07 ERA and a 9.8 K/9 ratio in 104 career inning in the minors.

Like West, the Blue Jays plucked Preston Guilmet off waivers as well, this time from the Baltimore Orioles. The 27-year-old owns a career 6.89 ERA in just 15.2 innings of work at the Major League level. However he’s been much more respectable in the minors, but owns a stellar 2.76 ERA, a 1.006 WHIP, and 9.8 K/9 ratio against a measily 1.9 BB/9 rate.

Also like West, Guilmet made limited appearances this spring, getting into just 3 games and working only one inning in each outing, allowing 2 runs (1 earned)  while walking 1 and striking out a pair.

Of the players to get their early tickets, the one that most surprises me is Gregory Infante as I spotlighted him as a possible surprise candidate this spring. Another 27-year-old, Infante spent 2014 closing games, first for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and then for the Buffalo Bisons. Overall, he posted 22 saves, a 1.94 ERA, a 1.036 WHIP, and a 8.5 K/9 ratio last season.

Infante hasn’t appeared in the Majors since getting a cup of coffee in 2010.

The early exit from camp for these three doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t be seeing them again this summer, but for now they’ll serve as minor league depth. Of course, it’ll be interesting to see who gets the nod closing games in Buffalo between Bobby Korecki and Infante, as it seems to be a road to the Blue Jays bullpen at one point or another during the season.

Next: Is Marco Estrada going to be Carlos Villanueva 2.0?

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