Monday, April 8, 2013

Shuffling the Deck

The Blue Jays have been busy on Monday, the off-day following the first week of action of the season.  Yesterday, we found out that the Jays had claimed another quadruple-A pitcher off waivers, this time it was Edgar Gonzalez from the Houston Astros.  To make room on the 40-man roster, the Jays moved Dustin McGowan from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.

Today, we learned that the Jays intend to put him on their active roster, taking the place of Dave Bush who earned himself a DFA* with his 4 HR performance on Sunday's game.**

Finally (or not?), the Jays picked up 1B Mauro Gomez off waivers from the Red Sox and optioned him to AAA Buffalo.  I've seen someone say that Adam Loewen is going to be send down to AA New Hampshire (he's only gotten into one game for Buffalo so far) and he'd join another waiver claimee, 1B Clint Robinson, in New Hampshire.

So what do these moves actually mean?

1) Gonzalez takes Bush's 8th spot in the bullpen (for now).  Gonzalez hasn't had much success in the major leagues, and the fact that he couldn't hold on to a spot in the Astros bullpen doesn't bode well.  He had great minor league numbers last year and his FIP and xFIP were significantly better than his 5.04 ERA in the majors.  He had acceptable strikeout numbers and pretty decent walk numbers (17.1% K, 7.6% BB) in his 25 innings in the majors last year.  Apparently, he throws a fastball that averages a tad under 90 mph to go along with (what Fangraphs classifies as) a sinker, a slider and a changup.  I'm a little curious about the slider, because it comes in 13 mph slower than his 4-seam fastball and sinker (both about the same velocity).  Plus, he threw it about 30% of the time.

I'm not sure what we're going to get out of Gonzalez.  He had a great spring training, but hasn't gotten into any game action this year.  Right now (until he shows me otherwise), he's just another guy at the back end of the pen.

2) I'm liking this Mauro Gomez claim.  First of all, he gives the Jays a RIGHT-HANDED HITTING 1B.  Secondly, Gomez is a legitimate power threat with a proven track record in the International League.  He was the International League MVP last season and has a list of All-Star appearances and Player of the Week awards that is quite impressive.  I think that this acquisitions is a direct reaction to the anemic right-handed hitting offense we saw yesterday.  With Edwin struggling, and and no production at all expected out of Mark DeRosa and Henry Blanco, having Gomez stashed in AAA is some nice insurance in case the Jays need a productive right-handed hitting bat.  I don't see him being on the active roster while both Lind and Encarnacion are there -- that would give them three 1B/DH type players, and that's just too many, especially when they really need someone who can play 3rd.

Brett Lawrie, wherefore art thou?


* "DFA" doesn't stand for "Dat F***ing A," a grade one might aspire to in school after earning Cs and Ds all the time.  For baseball newbies, it's "Designated for Assignment."

** 4 HRs isn't a good thing.  He's a pitcher.

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