We are two weeks away from the official opening of Blue Jays spring training, where fans will see some familiar names present in Dunedin as guest instructors, including Roberto Alomar, Sandy Alomar, Sr., George Bell, Pat Hentgen, and Paul Quantrill. All five have previously been instructors at spring training. Roberto Alomar is a "special assistant to the organization", while Sandy Alomar, Sr., Bell, and Quantrill are all officially "consultants" to the Blue Jays. Hentgen, who decided to leave his bullpen coaching job to be closer to his ailing father, is still with the organization and will still help out with the pitchers this spring training.
Although Roy Halladay has agreed to be a guest instructor with the Phillies, the Blue Jays are still trying to have him in some capacity in spring training. I wrote about this possibility previously, but last night at the State of the Franchise, I got a confirmation that the Jays are actually working on it.
In the brochure the Blue Jays handed out to attendees at the State of the Franchise event was an updated spring training roster with some non-roster invitees (NRIs) that have yet to be unveiled on BlueJays.com.
- Ricky Romero (#24), Aaron Sanchez (#41, Pat Hentgen's old number), John Stilson (#52), Marcus Stroman (#54) are the pitchers who are going to be added to the NRI list, joining Tomo Ohka (#55), Juan Perez (#57), and Marcus Walden (#67).
- It is important to note that, so far, Ohka is the only minor league free agent pitcher the Blue Jays have invited to spring training for 2014, the others being "home grown" guys. In 2013, the Blue Jays had 11 NRIs who were acquired through minor league free agency or waiver claims (Chad Beck, Dave Bush, Justin Germano, Alex Hinshaw, Tommy Hottovy, Ramon Ortiz, Juan Perez, Mickey Storey, Richard Thompson, Claudio Vargas, Neil Wagner).
- Andy Burns (#70), Derrick Chung (#63), and Jack Murphy (#60) are the batters who are going to be added to the NRI list. They will join Tiny Jonathan Diaz (#1), Chris Getz (#39), Jared Goedart (#38), Dan Johnson (#16), Munenori Kawasaki (#66), Andy LaRoche (#49), Ricardo Nanita (#69), Mike Nickeas (#15), Kevin Nolan (#72), and Steve Tolleson (#18)
Uniform Number Updates
- When Dioner Navarro arrived in Toronto, he was given #30, the number he has worn for the bulk of his career. Josh Thole was forced to change, and chose #22, displacing Kevin Pillar who wore that last season. Pillar will divide his old number by two and will wear Rajai Davis's old #11 in 2014.