Yesterday, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that catcher Danny Jansen would be heading to the IL after breaking a bone on his pinky finger in his catching hand. It has been a tough year for Jansen when it comes to injuries, as the Jays catcher missed a good chunk of time earlier this season with an oblique injury. The Jays catcher has been fantastic when on the field, owning a .915 OPS with seven home runs and 13 RBI through 19 games splitting time with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate.
With Jansen heading back to the 10-day IL and the early signs pointing to a couple of weeks on the shelf, all eyes were on what the Blue Jays would do when it comes to calling up a secondary catcher on the roster.
Those of you wishing to see top prospect, Gabriel Moreno, today will have to wait a bit longer, as the club’s corresponding move was to call up Zack Collins instead. Collins returns to the club after being acquired in a trade with the White Sox earlier this year, appearing in 20 games with the Jays when Jansen was on the IL and owning a .194/.275/.387 slash line with a .662 OPS while struggling to find consistency through his limited sample size at the big league level.
The decision to delay Moreno’s call up to the big leagues might have more to do with timing than anything, as the first game of the Kansas City Royals series ran late due to a rain delay and Jansen’s injury diagnoses didn’t come until the morning. No matter who was called up from AAA, there was a very unlikely chance that the player was going to be in the lineup today considering the travel day to get from Buffalo to Kansas City.
While this may not be the reason why the club decided to keep Moreno down in the Minor Leagues, he continues to play well and there continues to be an increasing likelihood that he could hear his name promoted sooner rather than later.
Although he did have a somewhat slow start to the season, Moreno has been fantastic as of late. He has amassed a .323 batting average on the year and has nine extra-base hits on the season to go along with his .783 OPS. Behind the plate, Moreno is boasting a 1.000 fielding percentage while throwing out 54% of baserunners, with his arm continuing to be the rocket that fans are hoping to see.
Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen heads to the IL and the club decided to not promote top prospect, Gabriel Moreno, electing to call up Zack Collins instead.
This brings the question, could Moreno potentially be called up sometime later this week? I believe there is a chance the #4 ranked prospect in baseball gets promoted soon but there are a few different factors in play.
A big factor depends on the length of Jansen’s injury, as it was apparently a clean break and it looks like the front office is going to wait and see how he progresses in the recovery. If he is going to be out for an extended period of time, I think this may benefit Moreno in that he could split time with Kirk behind the plate without manager Charlie Montoyo having to juggle three catchers in the lineup.
Another perspective to consider is that if the Jays truly thought he was ready for the big leagues, this would be a perfect scenario for the club to call him up to the active roster. He is on the 40-man so there is no roster juggling needed but he did miss some time last season with a thumb injury, meaning the front office might be more cautious with his development, especially in an important position behind the plate. Having him call games and continuing to work down in AAA with regular playing time might benefit the overall development but from a fan perspective, it is tough to see the club decided to keep the top prospect down in Buffalo when they could have called him up. This also makes sense if the Jays do not want to run with three catchers once Jansen is healthy, as I would imagine the Blue Jays would not want to bring Moreno to the big leagues just to send him back down.
Overall, the situation is ever-evolving and one could argue the pros and cons as to whether the Jays should promote Gabriel Moreno or not with Jansen on the IL. Part of me thinks that he could be with the active roster sometime later this week or early next week (home debut against Baltimore anyone?) but if they are wanting to focus more on the development, fans might still be waiting longer to see the club’s top prospect with the Blue Jays.