News coming out of Blue Jays camp in the past couple of days has seen the number of players working out with the major league club drop by four.
We’ve had announcements and confirmation of the retirements of two veteran pitchers signed to minor league contracts this spring. The first, Rafael Soriano, never even made it to Florida after being held up in the Dominican Republic because of visa issues. He had shoulder problems last year and only threw 5 2/3 innings with the Cubs but turned things around, getting attention of major league teams after a strong showing in the Dominican Winter League.
Former two-time All-Star Brad Penny also decided to hang it up after getting shelled in four spring training outings with the Blue Jays. He last pitched on Thursday and surrendered five runs in two innings while walking three and striking out one. Penny has also suffered injuries over the past few years, sapping his effectiveness after back-to-back All-Star seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006-2007.
Dalton Pompey was one of the #BlueJays reassigned to Minor League camp today. Wade LeBlanc and Matt Dominguez as well.
— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) March 18, 2016
The Blue Jays announced another round of cuts sending Dalton Pompey, Matt Dominguez and Wade LeBlanc (who shall henceforth be known as “Galdalf”) to minor league camp.
Michael Saunders was always going to have priority coming into spring training and with the fact that he’s demonstrating that he’s completely recovered from his knee injury last year, Pompey will head to Buffalo to make sure he gets every day at bats. Pompey hit .227/.292/.636 in spring training with a double, a triple and two home runs in 22 at bats. Matt Dominguez didn’t hit badly in his 21 at bats, getting six hits (all singles) and walking once, but when you’re playing behind the reigning AL MVP at third base and don’t really have a utility position, you’re not going to be able to crack that roster. Dominguez will return to Buffalo (where he played briefly at the end of 2015) to start the year. Finally, Wade LeBlanc was looking to return to the majors but his performance in spring training did not allow him to jump the queue of pitchers gnashing at the bit to make the squad. LeBlanc allowed three runs in just 3 1/3 innings, walking three and striking out three. While he’s been a starter throughout most of his career, LeBlanc could very well work out of the bullpen in Buffalo this year.
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