Former Blue Jay outfielder Anthony Gose is set to make his professional pitching debut with the Detroit Tigers’ single-A affiliate, taking the next step on his conversion to becoming a full-time pitcher. He is now officially listed as a left-handed pitcher and “is not playing centerfield anymore,” Anthony Fenech of the Free Press tweets.
Gose first threw a bullpen session at the end of March for Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. “I was very impressed,” Ausmus said to the Detroit Free Press. “His delivery was good. Smooth. Not a lot of effort involved. The ball came out good. Had real good finish."
Gose pitched in high school, and before committing to the outfield full-time, he reached 97 MPH on his fastball. He started the season in extended spring training to work on pitching and will work primarily as a reliever until further notice.
The Blue Jays traded Gose for Devon Travis in a one-for-one deal after the 2014 season.
Before Russell Martin returned from the 10-day disabled list and Toronto’s catching arsenal consisted of Luke Maile and Mike Ohlman, it wasn’t far fetched to hope that the Blue Jays would add some form of catching depth. Many fans (including myself) pointed to former Blue Jay Dioner Navarro as a possible signing option, as he was, and still is, a free agent.
In a recent interview on the Barry Davis podcast (entitled Outta the Park, a recent name change from No Suits Required), Navarro told Davis that the reason for his absence on the baseball field was his wife’s health. His wife, Shirley, was in a coma for about three months since a stroke in December. Recently, she returned home healthy.
"It's been devastating man, it's been crazy. I've been doing stuff that I never knew I was capable of doing — my wife was the one that always took care of the house, and I just worried about playing ball."
“It's been hard. But I just try to keep my kids strong and keep moving forward, man, and stay positive," Navarro said. "We see the light at the end of the tunnel."
Good news from injury land: Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson played for the Dunedin Blue Jays in a rehab assignment yesterday. In the outing, the pair combined to go 0-4 with a walk to Tulowitzki and hit by pitch to Josh Donaldson — not exactly what you would hope for against single-A pitching.
After an off-day yesterday, the Blue Jays will travel to Milwaukee to play the Brewers at 7:40 ET. Joe Biagini, coming off of a rough start against Atlanta, will take to the mound again tonight, while Jimmy Nelson gears up for the Brewers. You can watch the game on Sportsnet-1 or listen to it on Sportsnet 590.
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkColley.