We had a quick guide to the pitchers coming to the Blue Jays spring training camp back here, so it is time for a look at the batters who will be at the Jays Dunedin spring home. I wish I was joining them, since I'm watching snow fall outside my window.
The Jays first spring game is next Tuesday! Feels almost like Christmas. And it is on Sportsnet and should be on MLB.tv.
A.J. Jimenez: Number 17 on our prospect list, and number 8 in your spring training program. Virtually no chance to make the team out of spring training without at least a couple of injuries. What he can do is have a good spring and a consistent season so that he is at the top of everyone's list to be backup catcher next year.
Russell Martin: Our big free agent signing and clubhouse chemist. His spring training question is will he get to catch R.A. Dickey? We can only hope so.
Dioner Navarro: He could change his middle name to ‘I want to be traded'. If neither of Daric Barton or Justin Smoak show well, he'd be the favorite for the DH spot. I'm sure Alex would like to trade him, but as he is about the only trading chip Alex has left, he won't be traded until Alex is satisfied he has a good deal.
Josh Thole: The only person, other than his mom, who is hoping Russell fails in his attempt to catch Dickey.
Josh Donaldson: Our new third baseman, may he play a lot more games than our old third baseman did. He's saying all the right things about wanting to bat at Rogers Centre and clubhouse chemistry.
Edwin Encarnacion: I wonder what the over/under on games played at first base would be for our Edwin.
Ryan Goins: If he wins the second base job, I will be very unhappy, but I wouldn't be against him being utility infielder and defensive sub for Jose Reyes. I could see the upside in him playing short in the late innings of any game we are winning.
Matt Hague: A waiver pick up from the Pirates. Has 72 MLB at bats. Corner infield depth.
Maicer Izturis: I'll be interested to see how he looks after last year's injury. I didn't think he had the range for second base before the injury, but he looks to be the favorite to win the second base job at the moment. The first sighting of ‘in the best shape of his life' this off-season.
Jose Reyes: I'm interested in what they do to try to keep him healthy this year. They do have to rest him or DH him more than in the past. His range isn't good, but it is a better shape of terrible when he is healthy.
Justin Smoak: If he has a good first couple of weeks of spring training, it increases the odds that Navarro will be traded. If you were forced to bet right now, who would you pick to play more innings at first base, Justin or Edwin?
Steve Tolleson: Steve seems to be the forgotten man in the second base battle. Maybe the Jays don't feel he has the range to play there. I have my doubts that he makes the team.
Danny Valencia: Should be part of a first base platoon, playing first against lefties, either in a platoon with Smoak or with Edwin playing first against right-handers and Dioner DHing.
Platoon outfielder, should never play against RHP, whoops channeling BBB from 5 years ago. Another player we need to keep healthy. I still would like them to DH him once a week.
Kevin Pillar: Early favorite for the 4th outfielder spot. His bat had a pretty good September, hitting .295/.338/.443 in 65 PA. We can hope he figured things out.
Dalton Pompey: Can't wait to watch him play defense every day. Only slightly worried about his bat.
Michael Saunders: If he can equal the .273/.341/.450 slash line from last year, without the injuries, we should be pretty Happ-y with the trade.
Derrick Chung: They need extra catchers early in the spring. I'd imagine he'd start the year in New Hampshire. He's one that has to look at the need for a backup catcher in 2016 as his big chance. A good season would put him in the conversation.
Jack Murphy: See above. It isn't all that hard to imagine a way he could get some major league service time, for the Jays, in the next couple of years.
Sean Ochinko: Another glove for pitchers to throw at this spring. He had a very good spring training a couple of years ago, which had us all interested him, but he hasn't done much since.
Daric Barton: Alex said that Barton and Smoak will be battling for the platoon first base role, or perhaps neither will win it and Edwin will play first. Daric is a good defensive first baseman, but he hasn't hit since 2010.
Jonathan Diaz: Good defensive player, had a couple of at bats with the Jays last year, I doubt he will this year.
Jake Fox: A minor league free agent signing in December. Has a career .237/.288/.425 MLB slash line in 489 at bats. You might see him if you make a trip to Buffalo.
Munenori Kawasaki: Played 64 games at second base last year. I'm hoping we don't see as much of him this year, but you never know. He does have a shot at winning the second base job.
Mitch Nay: Number 13 on our prospect list. He gets the spring invite to let him get a taste of what it is like. He'll likely start the season at Dunedin.
Ramon Santiago: A free agent signing at the end of January. He has 920 MLB games on his resume and a .243/.343/.324. Has a chance at the utility infielder job, a much longer shot for the second base job. More likely he'll be in Buffalo and will be fighting with Kawasaki to be the first infielder called up.
Devon Travis: Picked up from the Tigers for Anthony Gose (he says just in case you have been hibernating). He would have to have a great spring to win the second base job out of spring training (I'm hoping he does) but, far more likely, he starts the season in Buffalo and waits until the team gets tired of watching Izturis in the middle of the infield.
Anthony Alford: Gets a spring invite for finally choosing baseball over football.
Ezequiel Carrera: The ‘in case of emergency break glass' if Pompey implodes. Could challenge for the 4th or 5th outfielder job, but unlikely to win it. Hit .261/.301/.348 in 45 games for the Tigers last year, mostly has a defensive replacement.
Chris Dickerson: Signed as a free agent last week. Can play all 3 outfield spots. Has a .257/.335/.395 line in 355 MLB games. Played 41 games for the Indians last year. Long shot for a backup outfielder spot, much more likely to play in Buffalo.
Caleb Gindl: Signed as a minor league free agent in December. Has 65 MLB games to his name and a .232/.335/.404 slash line. Like the others, could be a number 5 outfield if some things go wrong.
Dwight Smith, Jr.: Will get to work on learning second base with the help of the major league coaching staff, at least for the start of spring training. I hope they play him at second on one of the televised spring games. He's 22, it will be interesting to see how quick he can learn the position.