After a lot of speculation about the depth and quality of the Blue Jays’ bench, particularly with Melky Cabrera and Brett Lawrie questionable for tonight’s game, the Blue Jays made an awaited move on Thursday. The Blue Jays designated Moises Sierra for assignment and send Jonathan Diaz down to Buffalo while recalling Anthony Gose and selecting the contract of Steve Tolleson.
The Sierra for Gose move was completely expected. Sierra has been absolutely pitiful this season and an 0/4 night with two strikeouts sealed his fate after hitting just .059/.086/.059 in 35 plate appearances with one walk and nine strikeouts. The other reason that precipitated this move is the fact that the Blue Jays really don’t have a center fielder on the bench to take the place of Colby Rasmus. The Blue Jays experimented with an outfield of Cabrera in left, Bautista in center and Sierra in right for a game or two when Rasmus couldn’t play and the results were not exactly desirable.
Gose comes up hitting only .235 but he has a .350 OBP. While he’s best known for his speed and defense, it almost appears that Gose has given up trying to steal bases: he’s only got four on the season so far in Buffalo but has also been caught three times. The defense is what will probably keep Gose in Toronto for the rest of the season. He can substitute at any outfield position and has a cannon of an arm with outstanding range and instincts. That said, Gose has been very enigmatic throughout the last couple of seasons during which he has been up and down the major league team several times. Gose was the 26th man on the roster for a double header with the Minnesota Twins in mid-April.
The Diaz for Tolleson move is one that confounds me. Since before the beginning of spring training, the Blue Jays have been telling us about the importance of defense. It’s why Ryan Goins was the incumbent second baseman. It’s why Jonathan Diaz, who has almost magical glove skills, was brought up when Izturis was injured. So why are the Jays bringing up Steve Tolleson? Tolleson is a very versatile fielder who can play three infield positions and either of the corner outfield positions and has always had a decent, if not good, bat in the minors. I’m almost looking past his .225/.273/.350 major league slash line in 129 plate appearances because it’s such a small sample. But the better at bats (.286/.340/.408 in 53 PAs) came all the way back in 2010. In Triple-A, the 30-year-old Tolleson has a pretty decent .285/.368/.409 slash line.
Sure, Diaz’s bat wasn’t exactly cutting it at the major league level but neither has Tolleson’s bat so I’m not sure that the Blue Jays are actually improving their bench with this move.
What do you think Blue Jays fans?
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