I’ll kind of mail it in today since it is, after all, J.P. Arencibia‘s birthday today. He’s an extra-special human being because he shares his birthday with yours truly (although JPA’s younger, handsomer, richer and more baseballically gifted).
I woke up this morning to drive out to the airport to pick up my lady who was getting back into town after visiting her parents in the US. I probably should have stuck around a while because I found out that several Jays farmhands are coming into Toronto for a rookie development camp. I have a fuzzy recollection of the Blue Jays bringing some players from the high minor leagues to Toronto last winter. I believe the rationale was to give some of the players who could expect a call-up to the big club some time that season a taste of the city. Additionally, it’s probably a way to introduce these players to some of the ways of life for a new major leaguer. If you’ve read Out of My League by Dirk Hayhurst, you’ll know that it can be pretty overwhelming for a newly minted big leaguer.
So far, Deck McGuire and Brad Glenn have made the trip. It would appear that Marcus Stroman and Sean Nolin got stuck in New York with the bad weather and McGuire reached out to Aaron Sanchez, A.J. Jimenez and Ryan Tepera in a tweet after landing in Toronto.
— Deck McGuire (@deckmcguire) January 5, 2014
In a way, this tells us a little bit about the Blue Jays’ plans for some of these players. McGuire was recently added to the 40-man roster (along with Wilson) and could be in line for a big league call-up at some point while A.J. Jimenez was slated to get a September call-up before complications around his surgically repaired right elbow flared up causing him to be scratched from the big league taste as well as an appearance in the Arizona Fall League.
Glenn made a big impression on the club with his R. Howard Webster Award-winning season spent mostly in New Hampshire. With a very successful late season stint in Buffalo, Glenn is poised to be on a list of outfielders who could serve the big club in case of injury. The Jays have at least three outfielders ahead of him on the depth chart (apart from Bautista, Rasmus and Cabrera) so a call-up for Glenn would likely mean a disastrous season in terms of injuries.
Sanchez is going to start 2014 in New Hampshire and could make his debut in Toronto late in the season although I’m sure that the Blue Jays will take their time with the 21 year old hard-throwing righty.
Tepera is an interesting case. Marc Hulet from Fangraphs likes what he saw from Tepera, who was left off the 40-man roster, coming out of the bullpen. I never saw him pitch; he was supposed to start the last game that I saw in New Hampshire but was a late scratch (Lefty Matt Wright was pressed into emergency duty). By inviting him to Toronto, the Jays are saying that, even though he’s not on the 40-man roster, the Jays are still thinking about him and rewarding him for a strong season.