MLB jenkins

Published on May 21st, 2014 | by John Meloche

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Roster Shuffling, Options, Transactions

Alex Anthopoulos in his time as the Blue Jays GM appears to love to play the system. He helped build the Blue Jays farm system by taking advantage of qualifying offers to type A & B free agents prior to the most recent rule change debacle. He made an insane amount of waiver claims in 2013 to try to find minor league depth. He has been a sneaky GM finding ways to move players like Vernon Wells who was a player in decline on a massive contract. He found valuable pickups in players like Yunel Escobar and Colby Rasmus who had fallen out of favour with their current clubs.

In 2014 the one really surprising love of AA has been his love for guys without Options. At the beginning of the 2014 season roster construction was a little puzzling leaving the Blue Jays with a poor 3-man bench and a bloated 8-man bullpen. The 3 man bench had Josh Thole, Maicer Izturis and Moises Sierra. Thole was chosen to be R.A. Dickey‘s personal catcher, Izturis was the IF bench option and part-time second baseman to cover rookie Ryan Goins when needed and Sierra was a RH power bat that would give the Blue Jays a OF option along with a RH bat to platoon with Adam Ling against LHP, additionally he was out of options. In the 8 man pen the Blue Jays had Esmil Rogers, Todd Redmond, moved J.A Happ to the DL and kept flame throwing Jeremy Jeffress. All 4 players where guys that have potential, have shown potential and could not be optioned or in Happ’s case be optioned without his approval and in fairness is a decent back of the rotation option despite a horrible spring. At the same time Rogers, Redmond and Jeffress where marginal players who often were not good but if the Jays wanted to keep them had to be on the MLB team. I can understand that AA did not want to part with his assets but at some point, fielding the best team is a better option over players with options. Because of the lack of roster flexibility the following moves have since been made:

Date Transaction
4/1/14 Toronto Blue Jays placed SS Jose Reyes on the 15-day disabled list. Left hamstring tightness
Toronto Blue Jays selected the contract of Jonathan Diaz from Buffalo Bisons.
4/5/14 Toronto Blue Jays designated RHP Jeremy Jeffress for assignment.
Toronto Blue Jays selected the contract of Marcus Walden from Buffalo Bisons.
4/9/14 Toronto Blue Jays recalled RHP Neil Wagner from Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays optioned RHP Marcus Walden to Buffalo Bisons.
4/14/14 Toronto Blue Jays placed 2B Maicer Izturis on the 15-day disabled list. Left knee injury
Toronto Blue Jays activated LHP J.A. Happ from the 15-day disabled list.
4/15/14 Toronto Blue Jays selected the contract of SS Munenori Kawasaki from Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays designated RHP Marcus Walden for assignment.
4/17/14 Toronto Blue Jays recalled Anthony Gose from Buffalo Bisons.
4/18/14 Toronto Blue Jays optioned CF Anthony Gose to Buffalo Bisons.
4/19/14 Toronto Blue Jays activated SS Jose Reyes from the 15-day disabled list.
Toronto Blue Jays placed 1B Adam Lind on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 16, 2014. Lower back tightness
Toronto Blue Jays selected the contract of 1B Juan Francisco from Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays optioned Munenori Kawasaki to Buffalo Bisons.
4/26/14 Toronto Blue Jays recalled Chad Jenkins from Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays optioned RHP Neil Wagner to Buffalo Bisons.
4/28/14 Toronto Blue Jays optioned 2B Ryan Goins to Buffalo Bisons.
4/29/14 Toronto Blue Jays selected the contract of 2B Chris Getz from Buffalo Bisons.
5/1/14 Toronto Blue Jays selected the contract of Steve Tolleson from Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays recalled CF Anthony Gose from Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays optioned SS Jonathan Diaz to Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays designated RF Moises Sierra for assignment.
5/2/14 Toronto Blue Jays recalled C Erik Kratz from Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays optioned RHP Chad Jenkins to Buffalo Bisons.
5/3/14 Toronto Blue Jays recalled Chad Jenkins from Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays placed RHP Brandon Morrow on the 60-day disabled list. Torn tendon sheath in his right index finger
5/4/14 Toronto Blue Jays selected the contract of Marcus Stroman from Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays optioned CF Anthony Gose to Buffalo Bisons.
5/8/14 Toronto Blue Jays activated 1B Adam Lind from the 15-day disabled list.
Toronto Blue Jays optioned RHP Chad Jenkins to Buffalo Bisons.
5/11/14 Toronto Blue Jays designated 2B Chris Getz for assignment.
Toronto Blue Jays activated RHP Casey Janssen from the 15-day disabled list.
5/12/14 Toronto Blue Jays recalled RHP Chad Jenkins from Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays recalled SS Jonathan Diaz from Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays optioned Erik Kratz to Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays placed RHP Sergio Santos on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 11, 2014. Forearm tenderness.
5/13/14 Toronto Blue Jays optioned SS Jonathan Diaz to Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays recalled Kevin Pillar from Buffalo Bisons.
5/14/14 Toronto Blue Jays placed C Dioner Navarro on the bereavement list.
Toronto Blue Jays recalled Erik Kratz from Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays recalled Neil Wagner from Buffalo Bisons.
Toronto Blue Jays optioned Chad Jenkins to Buffalo Bisons.
5/15/14 Toronto Blue Jays placed CF Colby Rasmus on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 13, 2014. Right hamstring tightness.
Toronto Blue Jays recalled Anthony Gose from Buffalo Bisons.
5/17/14 Toronto Blue Jays activated C Dioner Navarro from the bereavement list.
Toronto Blue Jays optioned Neil Wagner to Buffalo Bisons.
5/19/14 Toronto Blue Jays optioned Marcus Stroman to Buffalo Bisons.
5/20/14 Toronto Blue Jays recalled LHP Rob Rasmussen from Buffalo Bisons.

To save yourself from counting that is 50 transactions in just over 1.5 months. Every team is going to have to make moves but the Blue Jays have pretty aggressive. Let me break it down:

  • 6 DL moves
  • 1 +/1 Bereavement move (4 transactions total)
  • 4 players designated for assignment
  • 14 player options
  • Chad Jenkins has been recalled and Optioned 3 times and pitched a total of 3 innings.

The one bright note has been Francisco who replaced the injured Adam Lind and has stayed with the team since Lind returned. The remaining group of players has combined to a pathetic line.

To date Jenkins & Wagner have been the main two players Optioned and recalled as Marcus Walden did not throw any innings on the MLB team before being designated for assignment.  Jeffress after a poor start was also designated for assignment.

Which leads me to the big question? Why have the Blue Jays been carrying an 8 man bullpen, sending players back and forth which carrying a short bench which has to date not been used effectively. The best answer is that AA has not been willing to part with players like Rogers, Redmond while hanging on the Jeffress and Sierra until his hand was forced. Players with options can be sent back and forth which is why Jenkins has already made numerous trips while pitching 3 meaningless innings.

At some point Happ, Redmond and Rogers can not all exist on the team. With them the Blue Jays are forced to carry 8 guys in the pen and make roster shuffles every time one of the starting position players needs more than 1 day off due to minor ailments. We have seen this many times over Rasmus, Reyes, Navarro, Lawrie and others needing a day or several days to heal a minor injury however that leaves the Blue Jays with a 2 man bench. It’s also forced AA to shuffle through 11 position players to cover said injured player.

AA I get that you love to give players with options excessive amounts of Air Miles but lets cut down the 8 man bullpen and keep the bench full of players that can step in when needed.

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Founder of baseballbabble.com, musician, blogger, ad executive and lover of baseball. I can appreciate the value of the traditional stats but equally love WAR and the pursuit of endless baseball statistics.



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