January 21-27, 2012 In Review

Week in Review

With roughly a month to go before pitchers and catchers report for spring training, the Blue Jays roster is largely set, save for competition for the final bullpen spots, and of course, subject to any injuries that may occur. With that being the case, there isn’t a lot of breaking news from the team once again this week.

On Tuesday, it was reported the team had signed veteran Mark DeRosa to a 1-year, $750K contract, with an team option for 2014 at the same salary. The versatile DeRosa played every position – save for pitcher, catcher and centerfield –  last season for Washington. He will continue in the role of utilityman for the Jays, serving as the ’25th’ man, as Mike McCoy and Omar Vizquel have done in the past. Looking at DeRosa’s numbers, he doesn’t appear to offer any sort of an upgrade offensively over McCoy, although he’s been widely praised for his clubhouse demeanour. These types of intangibles are difficult to measure from a fan’s perspective; unfortunately, his batting prowess is quite easily quantified: a meagre .220 / .309 / .269 (AVG / OBP / SLG) line over the past three years. That said, DeRosa seems to have found himself in the playoffs more often than not of late, so let’s hope his presence is some kind of omen for the 2013 Blue Jays.

To make room for DeRosa on the 40-man roster, Sam Dyson was designated for assignment. Dyson had a cup of coffee with the major league club in 2012, surrendering 3 hits, 2 walks and 4 earned runs in only two-thirds of an inning. You may recall that former manager John Farrell touted Dyson’s stuff as being “the best in the organization” (cough, cough). Given that he’s never managed a strikeout rate above 5K/9IP, I don’t think fans will be rushing for a handkerchief.

GM Alex Anthopoulous appears to be making a concerted effort of late to engage with fans in conversation. This week he participated in an online chat at the Toronto Sun’s website. While he didn’t reveal any organizational secrets, it’s still enjoyable to watch the affable GM answer questions. I can’t help but feel the fallout from the Yu Darvish sweepstakes of a year ago has in some way led Anthopoulous to realize the value of opening up just a little.

Speaking of AA revealing plans, it seems quite likely that lefthander J.A. Happ and righthander Brad Lincoln, both acquired in trades last season, appear destined to begin 2013 with AAA Buffalo. Both pitchers will be part of the Bisons starting rotation, serving as much needed depth should when one of the Blue Jays starting five gets injured. While a repeat of last season’s injury woes is unlikely, we all know that the Jays will require more than just five starters over the course of the season. Happ is a serviceable 5th starter, while Lincoln has had much more success out of the bullpen. However, given that both players have minor league options remaining, it makes the team’s roster decisions that much easier.

New Jays hurler R.A. Dickey, who it appears will likely be given the opening day assignment, continues to assert himself as one the most interesting personalities sports fans in Toronto have encountered in some time. Dickey is off to India this week on a humanitarian trip to help fight human trafficking.

Continuing on the topic of Dickey, he was the featured subject of Sportsnet’s continuing Up Close series. In case you missed this week’s airing, you can view the interview segments here.

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2 Responses to “January 21-27, 2012 In Review”
  1. PatSmith says:

    Guys.. Thoughts or insight into where the dud Romaro will fit in to the rotation?

    • Kieran Roy says:

      I think the importance of rotational sequencing is overstated by most. Romero will be one of five starting pitchers, and we all know that injuries, days off, etc. will cause the rotation sequence to shuffle quite a few times.

      There’s no argument that coming into 2013, Romero has gone from #1 to #5 in terms of our expectations. We should remember that he’s not as good as he looked in 2011, and hopefully nowhere near as bad as he pitched in 2012. If he puts up an ERA between 3.75 an 4.25, I think most will be OK with his performance.

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