In slightly surprising news this morning, the Toronto Blue Jays promoted catcher A.J. Jimenez from double-A New Hampshire to the major leagues for the first time in his career. It's a little peculiar that the lack of depth in the infield led to a catcher being called up, but who are we as fans to question it. Jimenez, a 23-year-old Puerto Rican, was originally set to start the season with the Fisher Cats, but he won't even get the chance to unpack his things as he'll have to catch a flight to Tampa Bay for the game this evening.
Jimenez appeared in six spring training games this March, hitting .143 with a .333 OBP mainly because he kept being hit by pitches. After the torture of J.P. Arencibia catching in 2013, I think fans will be quite content with the OBP that Jimenez brings to the team.
Alex Anthopoulos was available to the media this morning and was quoted as saying,
"You know we just thought having three catchers on our active roster wasn't enough and rolling with a team that is composed of 16% catchers is a little more efficient. All the backstops bring something different to the table so the team has additional flexibility going forward. Dioner Navarro can catch, but can't hit. Josh Thole can kind of catch, but definitely can't hit. Erik Kratz can catch a little bit and hit moderately well considering his home run yesterday and no one knows what A.J. Jimenez can do so we'll just play it by ear I guess."
It does make sense what the Blue Jays are trying to do as last year the catching position was such a weak spot in the team. If they're looking to avoid a repeat of the struggles in 2013, the sensible thing to do is ensure their catching position is reinforced at the major league level.
There's no confirmation as of yet, but it sounds like that when Jose Reyes is ready to be activated off the disabled list, he will be assigned to AAA Buffalo with Mike Nickeas taking his place in Toronto to really solidify the catching depth with the big league team. If you're into the details or maybe plan on updating the Blue Jays roster tree, Reyes' DL stint will be retroactive to April Fools' Day.