Sportsnet Radio's Prime Time Sports is broadcasting from Dunedin this week and hosts Bob McCown and Stephen Brunt were able to catch Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos for a long chat. Much of this may be old news to some, but there are interesting tidbits here regarding roster moves, the bullpen, and prospects.
On Roster Cuts
- AA mentioned that the roster will be down to around 35 players around the 20th or 21st of March. This coincides with the World Baseball Classic ending (March 19th).
On Jose Bautista and the WBC
- It's possible that Bautista could still go play for the Dominican Republic; however a player on the current DR roster needs to get hurt for that to happen.
- Bautista was told he could go for round two, however no one was injured. Bautista would only be able to join for round three.
On Jose Reyes
- AA knows it's spring training but he loves the energy he's seeing from Reyes. He notes that Reyes has really been whacking the ball as of late. Reyes' is not known as a power threat - his career high for home runs was 19 in 2006, at the age of 23.
Regarding Casey Janssen and Sergio Santos
- AA expects both Janssen and Santos to be ready for opening day. He indicated that Janssen would be the closer if both are healthy.
- Both Janssen and Santos threw earlier today. Janssen threw a simulated game, Santos had one inning in a minor league spring training game, he "felt great".
On Bullpen Decisions
- Jeremy Jeffress has really impressed Anthopoulos so far this spring: "It's been outstanding". AA is hoping to see consistency with the results before making a decision.
- Jeffress will be getting a 3-inning start against the Orioles on Saturday to see f he can handle the long man role in the bullpen.
Dustin McGowan Updates
- McGowan has been throwing bullpen sessions and feeling great (we've never heard that before). He will pitch in a simulated game against live BP tomorrow.
- AA says that the issue with McGowan, besides injury, is that "we don't know if he's a starter or a reliever". Earlier this spring, John Gibbons had mentioned that McGowan was a possible longshot for the long man role in the bullpen.
- Despite the optimism, McGowan will most likely start the year on the DL. When healthy, Anthopoulos says that "McGowan has the best stuff in the entire organization".
On David Cooper
- Cooper had been injured to end the 2012 season, however the Jays were optimistic he could recover. Anthopoulos offered Cooper a contract in December, however Cooper apparently wanted to weigh his options before signing anything.
- The back injury is considered severe - as of right now Cooper can either have surgery or try and rehab the injury.
- The Blue Jays had the option to either put Cooper on the big league DL all year or release him due to MLB rules. Obviously they chose to release him.
- AA sees Sanchez as the Blue Jays' version of Tampa's Matt Moore.
- Says that Sanchez was ahead of guys like Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter at the same age (when they drafted him).
- Power guys tend to take more time, so Sanchez is still at least two years away. Sanchez needs to work on his command. Last year in Lansing, Sanchez had 97 SOs and 51 BBs in 90.1 IP.
- AA can see Gose as a leadoff guy who can draw plenty of walks. The bat however still needs work, and the strikeouts need to come down.
- Apparently Gose changed his swing the second time he was called up to the Blue Jays last year. He hit .262/.347/.393 in September & October.
On Starters in the 'pen
- AA mentioned that Kyle Drabek or Drew Hutchison could break in to the major league club through the bullpen, if the rotation is set and the bullpen is not. He's not opposed to having young starters pitch out of the bullpen - he noted that pitchers such as Pat Hentgen, Al Leiter, and Todd Stottlemyre have been brought up this way. More recently, David Price is an example of a pitcher who initially pitched out of the 'pen.
On the Possibility of More Roster Moves
- AA has received calls from three GMs in the last four days, but he himself hasn't called anyone.
- He doesn't see himself making any more moves, but also mentioned that things get very active in the last week of spring for players who are out of options. The Blue Jays have many players who are out of options, including Dustin McGowan, Brett Cecil, Jeremy Jeffress, Esmil Rogers, Sergio Santos, and Emilio Bonifacio.