The Canberra Cavalry evened their best-of-three series with the Sydney Blue Sox with a 4-3 win on Saturday and former Blue Jay Emilio Bonifacio was designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals.
In Sydney, Australia, the Canberra Cavalry, with three Toronto Blue Jays minor leaguers playing for them, won 4-3 with four runs off of starter Connor Whalen. Unfortunately, none of the Blue Jays’ farmhands contributed much to the the victory. Jon Berti went oh for five but scored a run in the first inning after reaching base due to an error. Jack Murphy went one for four with a single and Mike Crouse went oh for four.
The third and deciding game of the series will be played on Sunday at 4pm local time (or midnight Sunday morning Eastern Time). Head to the Canberra Cavalry website for links to the live video feed.
Thanks to this post at MLB Trade Rumors, we’ve learned that the Kansas City Royals have designated Emilio Bonifacio for assignment. Bonifacio, who came to the Blue Jays in the massive trade with the Miami Marlins in 2012, was an incredible disappointment with the Blue Jays, playing poor defense when he began the season as the starting second baseman and was unable to find a groove with the bat.
Bonifacio was traded to the Royals for cash on August 14 and played far better in every aspect of the game. For the Blue Jays, he hit .218/.258/.321 with 12 stolen bases in 18 attempts and had a 4.6% walk rate and 23.4% strikeout rate in 282 plate appearances. In 179 plate appearances with the Royals, he hit .285/.352/.348 with 16 stolen bases in 18 attempts and a 9.5% walk rate and 20.7% strikeout rate.
Obviously, Bonifacio was doing something right in Kansas City and, if it weren’t for his $3.5 million contract (that he agreed to with the Royals before going to arbitration), he could actually be a very good fit for the 2014 Blue Jays. He could serve as a fourth outfielder as well as a backup infielder as well as a pinch runner and pinch hitter. He doesn’t have someone like Rajai Davis’s splits from the right side, but he does have a better lifetime average from the right side of the plate than from the left.
Bonifacio’s 2013 season was really an interesting one. Why was he so bad for the Blue Jays but so good for the Royals? His BABIP was much higher for the Royals — .369 in KC as opposed to .277 in Toronto — but that BABIP for the Blue Jays wasn’t incredibly low. And why was he so much more successful stealing bases in KC than in Toronto? And why did he take more walks there? Is it just a sample size issue?
The DFAing of Bonifacio was certainly a surprise and most likely due to budget constraints particularly after signing Bruce Chen. Bonifacio will find a new home somewhere although I don’t think the fan base would appreciate bringing him back to Toronto.