Blue Jays recall Kawasaki, DFA Danny Valencia!?


The Toronto Blue Jays were expected to make several roster moves to balance out the 25-man roster ahead of today’s game. The actual moves they’ve made, however, don’t all come as expected. Munenori Kawasaki has been recalled to serve as a reserve infielder. Ryan Tepera has been optioned while outfielder Ezequiel Carrera has been DFAd. The shocker, to some extent, is that the club also DFAd Danny Valencia

Something seems off here, with an eight-man bullpen still including the struggling Aaron Loup. I don’t see Danny Valencia sliding through waivers, either, especially considering the great year he’s been having. Valencia, who is loved in the clubhouse, has a .296 average and .838 OPS while playing multiple positions. His defense is not good by any means, but when compared to Munenori Kawasaki’s, it’s just fine. 

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Valencia has always been viewed as a lefty-masher, but he’s actually posted a higher OPS against right-handed pitching in 2015, something he worked at throughout the offseason. Five of his seven home runs have come against righties. I understand that the Blue Jays righty-heavy lineup leaves little room for Danny V, but I’m struggling to get behind this move. At the end of the day, Muni’s ability to play shortstop is likely what’s at play here. That makes some sense. A bit.

In DFA’ing Carrera, the Blue Jays make the right choice, albeit an obvious one. The incoming Ben Revere will likely take over the majority of reps in left field, and manager John Gibbons has said he could platoon in certain situations. I’d assumed that Valencia would be the platoon-mate there, but let’s move past that.

We give Carrera a hard time, but when he was signed prior to the season, he wasn’t expected to even sniff the Major League roster, let alone hit .279 in 70 games. Carrera offered little value in the field or on the base-paths, where I really expected more, but he plugged the hole well enough for what his skill level allows.

Tepera overachieved in many sense, as well, as the 27-year old posted a 2.28 ERA in 21 appearances for the Blue Jays. He’s clearly without a role, however, and will make for good organizational depth. Again, this leaves the Blue Jays with an eight-man bullpen, which surely isn’t the game plan for the remainder of the season. We’ll update you with any coming details or related moves as the day unfolds.

Next: Is Ben Revere secretly Jose Reyes 2.0?

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