Blue Jays Spring Training Notes: Feb. 18, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 08: A detailed view of officials Major League Baseballs in the dugout prior to the start of the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on July 8, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 08: A detailed view of officials Major League Baseballs in the dugout prior to the start of the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on July 8, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Blue Jays spring training news and notes from February 18th, 2019, including an update on a minor league pitcher and the team’s use of new pitching metrics.

Dermody begins throwing bullpens

Lefty Matt Dermody, who missed the majority of the 2018 season (which he started with Triple-A Buffalo), is “back on the mound and throwing bullpens” at the Blue Jays’ minor league spring training camp, reports Keegan Matheson of Baseball Toronto. Dermody, 28, appeared in 23 games for the major league team in 2017, pitching to an ERA of 4.43 and striking out 15 in 22.1 innings.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. changes representation

Blue Jays infielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has changed representation and is now working with Magnus Sports, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. Lourdes’ older brother, Houston Astros first baseman Yuli, will also now be represented by Magnus, a firm that is headed by Marc Anthony.

Construction begins on new spring training complex

Work is already being done on the Blue Jays spring training facility, with one of the diamonds on the grounds already almost torn up, chronicles The Athletic’s John Lott in his photo series from day one of spring training. The complex will be a year-round training facility for members of the major league team.

Team using new spin rate tracker

The Blue Jays are among the major league teams experimenting with a Rapsodo spin rate tracker this spring, observes Scott Mitchell of TSN. Many players, including Tim Mayza (who spoke with Matheson), have been using the machine to fine-tune movement on pitches based on new metrics.

Blue Jays make John Axford signing official

The team announced the previously reported signing of RHP John Axford to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. Axford, 35, was on hand Saturday at the Blue Jays’ facility in Dunedin to speak with the media and address the process of returning to the organization. He told reporters that he had “fielded other offers”, but ultimately wanted to return to Toronto.

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Storen, Romo sign on with new teams

Drew Storen, who was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2016, has signed a minor league deal with the Kansas City Royals, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Additionally, Sergio Romo, a reliever who was of interest to the team as recently as last week, has signed on with the Miami Marlins. The Blue Jays were among the many teams to have interest in Romo’s services, reportedly offering him a contract at one point.

Arencibia to join Marlins broadcast team

Former Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia will be joining the Miami Marlins broadcast team as a pre- and post-game analyst, according to a press release from Fox Sports Florida. Arencibia will also be appearing during select broadcasts, presumably as a colour analyst.

Solarte heads to San Francisco

Infielder Yangervis Solarte, who was non-tendered by the Blue Jays in November, has signed a contract with the San Francisco Giants, tweets Robert Murray of The Athletic. Solarte had previously drawn the eye of the Texas Rangers after hitting the open market.

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Aaron Loup signs with Padres

Former Blue Jays lefty specialist Aaron Loup has inked a deal with the San Diego Padres, according to AJ Cassavell of MLB.com. Jon Heyman of MLB Network notes that Loup, who appeared in 369 games for the Blue Jays between 2012 and 2018, will receive a one-year, major league contract in San Diego.