Wilton Lopez and Ramon Santiago become latest Blue Jays roster cuts
When a player is in big league camp on a minor league deal, they want to do everything in their power to impress the big league club and make the final cut. They last thing they want to do is either get lit up on the mound or injured in camp. However, that’s exactly what happened for reliever Wilton Lopez (former) and infielder Ramon Santiago (latter), who became the latest players to miss the cut in Toronto Blue Jays camp, per Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star.
Signed to a minor league contract on December 12th, Wilton Lopez was one of the classic buy-low candidates that Alex Anthopoulos likes to stock up on over the winter. And when it started to become evident that the Blue Jays were not going to make any significant moves on the relief front, Lopez looked like a potential sleeper candidate for the bullpen.
Unfortunately, he never seemed to set the alarm clock and slept through his audition.
The 31-year-old owns a lifetime 3.54 ERA, 3.40 FIP, and a 6.5 K/9 ratio over 305.1 innings in the Major Leagues, but he has been battered around this spring. In 5.1 innings of work, Lopez has surrendered 6 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 5 along the way. That’s good for a 10.13 ERA for you kids doing the math at home. He didn’t help his case any on Friday, when he came on in relief of Daniel Norris and promptly surrendered 3 runs in just two-thirds of an inning of work. With arms like Miguel Castro, Roberto Osuna, and Colt Hynes shining this spring, it became apparent that Lopez was not going to be in the picture for long.
On the other side of the coin we have Ramon Santiago. Unlike Lopez, Santiago was fully in the zone from the onset of camp and appeared to be on the cusp of possibly landing a utility infielder role with the Jays after collecting 5 hits in his first 12 at-bats of the spring. Unfortunately, a broken collarbone ended those hopes a few days ago, shelving Santiago for the next two months. By reassigning him to the minor leagues, the Blue Jays will not need to pay him a Major League salary while he is on the disabled list, making this strictly a procedural move.
More cuts are still to come for the Toronto Blue Jays, with a competition in the bullpen and at second base still to be decided. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you informed.