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Jays Roster Moves: Horwitz Up

MLB: MAR 03 Spring Training - Rays at Blue Jays Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Jays made a couple of roster moves this afternoon:

  • Spencer Horwitz has been called up from Buffalo.
  • Adam Cimber was activated from the paternity list.
  • Thomas Hatch and Nathan Lukes are heading back to Buffalo.

Horwitz is a left-handed batter. He’s played first base, left field and DH. He’s 25. He was hitting .300/.421/.405 with 2 home runs, 42 walks and 46 strikeouts.

He was #13 on our 40-man prospect list this year. Matt wrote:

Selected in the 24th round of the 2019 draft and signed for $100,000 out of small-school Radford, Horwitz has proved to be quite the find. A consistent producer over three college seasons characterized by excellent plate discipline (13% walks against 12% strikeouts) but mediocre for corner bat type, he moved rapidly through the system. Added to the 40-man, he’s now on the cusp of the majors.

That solid average, middling power, OBP-driven profile carried over to pro ball, where a late round draft pick has to prove it at each level. The surprise was how well small conference production translated to the pro ranks: short season in 2019 (.307/.368/.440); then high-A Vancouver in 2021 (.291/.401/.445 with a late season power surge); and then New Hampshire in the first half of 2022 (.297/.413/.517).

It’s not the first time his production has tailed off when adjusting to a new level, so that’s not definitive either, and it’s an encouraging sign that the Jays chose to add him to the 40-man. But even if the production bounces back in 2023 and translates to the highest level, the lack of power makes it hard to project Horwitz as an average regular at first base or perhaps left field. If the hit tool plays, the upside is something like Yonder Alonso or perhaps Lyle Overbay.

More realistic would be be a more lesser role as a complementary player, perhaps with a peak season or two at higher production. If one is looking for impact potential, other players in this range are probably preferred, but conversely the proximity to the majors means he whatever his production he does provide should be in the near term.

Hopefully, the Jays will give him some playing time. The last guy on the bench hasn’t seen much action this season. Lukes had all of 23 PA with the team, hitting .158/.261/.263.

Hatch would have been useful for our bullpen day Saturday. But they can only sit on the paternity list for so long.

And Anthony Bass was released. The Jays couldn’t work out a trade for him, nor did any team want to take him off waivers. The team owes him what is left of his $3 million contract. Any team that signed him will only owe him the major league minimum.

I’m not sure who the favourite is to pick him up. I doubt that Bet 960 has a betting line on him.

The Red Sox have also released Matt Dermody.

Tonight’s lineup. Merrifield moves up to the two-spot. Jansen DHes. Varsho is batting 8th.

Today's Lineups

George Springer - RF Marcus Semien - 2B
Whit Merrifield - LF Corey Seager - SS
Bo Bichette - SS Nathaniel Lowe - 1B
Vladimir Guerrero - 1B Adolis Garcia - RF
Alejandro Kirk - C Josh Jung - 3B
Matt Chapman - 3B Jonah Heim - C
Danny Jansen - DH Mitch Garver - DH
Daulton Varsho - CF Travis Jankowski - LF
Santiago Espinal - 2B Leody Taveras - CF
Kevin Gausman - RHP Martin Perez - LHP