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Blue Jays by the numbers: 2014 uniform number assignments

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Remember him once pitched well for the Blue Jays?
Remember him once pitched well for the Blue Jays?
Tom Szczerbowski

I was a strange child, one who was fascinated with uniform numbers. Every year during spring training, I would make my parents buy a copy of the Toronto Star when they had their "Meet the Blue Jays" issue because I knew they would have a list of all the players on the roster and their uniform numbers. I’d take that list and look at it once I get back home from school and spend a good part of the afternoon and evening committing the list to memory. Then I'd write it out neatly on a big sheet of paper and update it during the season as players come and go. Even to this day I am oddly interested at what numbers are chosen by (or assigned to) new players, and which players decide to change their numbers in the offseason, so I've made this type of post for the past two years (2012, 2013) even though it's kind of a frivolous topic.

New Numbers

The Blue Jays may not have made any big moves, but they did add six new players onto the 40-man roster and three coaches onto the staff. At first, none of them were assigned a number but their official numbers finally appeared on the Blue Jays’ official site on Monday.

Uniform Number
Brent Morel
J.P. Arencibia
Kevin Seitzer (coach)
Dwayne Murphy (coach)
Dioner Navarro
Josh Thole
Erik Kratz
Andy LaRoche
Bob Stanley (coach)
Evan Crawford (spring training)
Tim Leiper (coach)
Thad Weber
Rob Rasmussen
Jim Negrych (spring training)
Deck McGuire
Ryan Schimpf (spring training)

Brent Morel wore #22 in his four-year stint with the White Sox, Kevin Seitzer wore #36 when he coached the Royals, Dioner Navarro has worn #30 with four different clubs since 2006, Erik Kratz wore #31 with the Phillies from 2011-2013, Bob Stanley wore #46 for his entire playing career and as a pitching coach with the Bisons.

Players Changing Numbers

Sometimes players decide to change numbers to change their luck; other times they are forced out of it because a veteran wanted it. With Dioner Navarro wearing #30, Josh Thole is switching to #22; however, that's still Kevin Pillar's number. According to there are two #22's on the roster. So it's unknown whether Thole is actually switching to another number, or if Pillar will be changing. OR DOES THIS FORETELL A ROSTER TRANSACTION??? (Probably not.)

Uniform Number
Josh Thole
Kevin Pillar

Non-Roster Invitees

Players who sign with the team as minor league free agents are not on the 40-man roster, but some of them receive invitations to major league spring training. When assigning numbers, they are generally considered the third highest priority--after major league players and coaches--especially for long-tenured veterans and lovable Japanese infielders. When the franchise's own minor leaguers are invited to spring training, they tend to be assigned numbers in the 65-80 range. Again, with this group we see a doubling of numbers: Andy LaRoche was assigned #17, which is Ryan Goins's number. LaRoche wore #31 with the Blue Jays in 2013.

Uniform Number
Tiny Jonathan Diaz
Emilio Bonifacio
Mike Nickeas
Mike Nickeas
Dan Johnson
Mark DeRosa
Andy LaRoche
Ryan Goins
Steve Tolleson
Ryan Langerhans
Jared Goedert
Darren Oliver
Michael Broadway
Chad Mottola (coach)
Tomo Ohka
Josh Johnson
Juan Perez
Juan Perez
Munenori Kawasaki
Munenori Kawasaki
Marcus Walden
Chien-Ming Wang

Tiny Jonathan Diaz never played with the Blue Jays but he wore #62 as a non-roster invitee in 2012 and #76 in five games with the Red Sox in 2013, Mike Nickeas wore #15 in his single inning as a Blue Jay in 2013, Dan Johnson wore five different numbers in the major leagues but never #16, Steve Tolleson wore #30 and #6 in the major leagues, Tomo Ohka wore #55 for two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers and #18 in his stint in Toronto.

Numbers yet to be assigned

11, 12 (retired), 24 (Ricky Romero), 34, 41 (Pat Hentgen), 42 (retired), 49, 60, 63, 69 (teehee), 70, 72-99

We are still more than a month away from spring training, so there is a good chance this list will change before spring training begins. But it's never too early to start memorizing, no?

Sources: 2013 Toronto Blue Jays Official Guide, 2012 Toronto Blue Jays Official Guide,,