Just prior to the scheduled game against the New York Yankees, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that infielder Lars Anderson has been optioned to AAA Buffalo and pitcher Chad Jenkins has been optioned to AA New Hampshire. They will be continuing spring training from minor league camp, although they may be occasionally called to play with the big club, especially as extras on road trips.
Anderson, 25, was a highly touted prospect for the Boston Red Sox. Reaching an apex before the 2009 season when he was ranked the #17th prospect by Baseball America. His numbers took a big hit starting in that year, faring poorly in his second go-around of AA and his three seasons in AAA. He's had three cups of coffee in the major leagues, totalling 30 games (56 plate appearances), all coming with the Boston Red Sox. His major league line reads a paltry .167/.268/.188. Anderson was traded to the Cleveland Indians at the deadline last season for minor league knuckleballer Steven Wright, and in the offseason he was traded once again to the Diamondbacks, then was claimed by the White Sox, and finally by the Blue Jays on February 25. This spring with the Jays, playing first base and right field, Anderson played in 8 games (17 PA) and collected three doubles en route to a .357/.471/.571 line.
With the injury and impending release of David Cooper, Anderson will likely be the Bisons' starting first baseman this upcoming season. His combined numbers with AAA Pawtucket and Columbus last year: 111 G, 470 PA, .250/.353/.396, 9 HR, 59 RBI, 107 K, 65 BB. According to a Bisons release, he is a "noted Bisons killer," having a career .291 average against them.
Chad Jenkins, also 25, was the Blue Jays' first round pick back in 2009. He made it up to AA New Hampshire after a season and a half in 2011, and repeated the level to begin 2012. His numbers were poor (4.96 ERA in 114.1 IP giving up 11 hits per nine innings, striking out just 4.5 while walking 2.4), but was called up to the Blue Jays in early August because of the parent club's despearate need for pitchers. He went 1-3 through 13 games (3 starts, 32 IP) with decent numbers for a rookie pitcher: 4.50 ERA, 1.344 WHIP, 9 H/9, 4.5 K/9, although he did give up five homers.
Jenkins had one appearance this spring, giving up a run on three hits in his one inning of pitching in late February before being shut down with right shoulder inflammation. He was expected to be a starter in Buffalo this season, so the option to the Fisher Cats was a surprise, perhaps it represents an opportunity for him to work through his injury.