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Blue Jays' Nate Pearson: Top taxi squad candidate
Pearson would almost certainly be part of a proposed taxi squad for the Blue Jays if the minor-league season is canceled, Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic reports.
The Toronto front office has made it clear the organization's top pitching prospect won't be rushed into major-league action, but if there's no minor-league season, Pearson's only route to competitive innings in 2020 will be with the Jays. Even if the 23-year-old does begin the season as part of a taxi squad, he may be limited to simulated games under the supervision of the coaching staff until he's deemed ready to take the next step. Given Pearson's dominant performance this spring against big-league hitters, he could push his way into the rotation picture quickly, but expect the Jays to be cautious with him.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Santiago Espinal: Staying with Bichette during pause
Espinal and fellow Blue Jays minor leaguer Forrest Wall have been staying in Florida with Bo Bichette during the shutdown, Gregor Chisholm of The Toronto Star reports.
Bichette's father, four-time All-Star Dante Bichette, has a gym and batting cages near his home, giving Espinal all the facilities he needs to stay in shape. The 25-year-old had already been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo when spring training was put on pause, but his impressive Grapefruit League showing (.417/.462/1.000 and seven extra-base hits in 26 plate appearances) and strong defense mark him as the most likely internal replacement at shortstop should anything sideline Bichette during the regular season, and Espinal could still find a spot on an expanded big-league roster.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Bo Bichette: Working out with dad
Bichette has been able to stay in shape in part by doing drills and working out with his father, four-time All-Star outfielder Dante Bichette, Gregor Chisholm of The Toronto Star reports.
"Most of the time he's throwing me (batting practice), but every once in a while he actually pitches to me, so we'll get the Little League field distance and he'll throw it as hard as he can to try and get me out. That's when it gets a little bit intense and a little bit competitive," Bichette said about the workouts with his pop. The 22-year-old figures to be ready to go right away once spring training resumes.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero: Has access to batting cage
Guerrero has been able to hit at a batting cage near his home in the Dominican Republic to try and stay sharp while MLB is on pause, Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic reports.
Based on pics posted to his Instagram feed, Guerrero has not only been hitting but has been able to stay in good shape, something that was a concern after his weight and general fitness level came into question toward the end of his rookie campaign. Expect the young slugger to be ready to go once training camps open up again, and the potential for a breakout 2020 from the second-generation player remains high.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Reese McGuire: Court date postponed
McGuire's court date in Clearwater has been postponed to June 25, Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic reports.
The catcher was originally scheduled to appear in a Pinellas County courtroom March 16 regarding his misdemeanor charge of exposure, but the hearing has been postponed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic. There's been no indication McGuire is facing additional league discipline due to the February incident, so it's likely his legal issues won't impact his availability once baseball is ready to resume play. The 25-year-old is expected to work in a timeshare behind the plate with Danny Jansen this season, although McGuire is more likely to be on the short end of it.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Ryan Borucki: Should be ready for Opening Day
Borucki (elbow) should be ready to pitch when MLB resumes play, Gregor Chisholm of The Toronto Star reports.
The southpaw experienced tightness in his elbow in February and was expected to be shut down for 2-3 months, but the delayed start to the season will give him a chance to make a full recovery before the season picks up again. "He's been feeling great," Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker said Friday. "This pandemic, obviously, is a terrible situation, but it's given Ryan a chance to kind of catch up. He's made some mechanical adjustments and feels great, arm feels great. He has been throwing sides. If there is a spring training and a season, which we're very hopeful at this stage, he should be right in the mix and a big part of it." While Borucki may have missed out on his chance to win a regular rotation spot this spring due to the injury, he could still make a case for a sixth starter/swing man role on an expanded Jays roster once training camp resumes.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Matt Shoemaker: Staying in shape
Shoemaker has been able to throw regularly at a bullpen facility near his home while the season remains suspended, Gregor Chisholm of The Toronto Star reports.
Keeping his arm in shape is important for Shoemaker -- the veteran right-hander has thrown only 137.1 innings over the last three seasons due to a variety of injuries, so ramping back up quickly and safely once MLB resumes operations could be a bigger challenge for him than other pitchers. Assuming he doesn't break down again, however, Shoemaker's expected to fill a mid-rotation role for the Jays in 2020.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Ryan Borucki: Feeling good in recovery
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Thursday that Borucki (elbow) has experienced no setbacks since resuming mound work in late March, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports.
Borucki was sidelined for most of spring training with left elbow tightness, but the ongoing suspension of the MLB season looks like it might provide him with enough time to make a full recovery from the injury once play resumes. Despite his improved health, Borucki still seems likely to open the 2020 campaign at Triple-A Buffalo, as Trent Thornton and newcomer Shun Yamaguchi both look to be ahead of him in the pecking order for the final spot in the big-league rotation.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Thomas Hatch: Sent to Triple-A
The Blue Jays optioned Hatch to Triple-A Buffalo on March 10.
After moving to the 40-man roster over the winter, Hatch could get the chance to make his big-league debut in 2020 if the Blue Jays should require a spot starter or long man out of the bullpen at any point during the season. The 25-year-old compiled a 4.12 ERA and 1.24 WHIP across 135.1 innings between two Double-A affiliates in 2019.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Julian Merryweather: Bound for Triple-A
The Blue Jays optioned Merryweather to Triple-A Buffalo on March 9.
Merryweather has covered just six total innings in affiliated ball the past two seasons, missing the majority of both of those years while rehabbing from March 2018 Tommy John surgery. The 28-year-old will provide organizational starting depth at Triple-A.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Hector Perez: Moves to Triple-A
The Blue Jays optioned Perez to Triple-A Buffalo on March 10.
Perez will likely fill a spot in Buffalo's rotation after making 24 of his 26 appearances as a starter at Double-A New Hampshire a season ago. He covered 121.1 innings in 2019, finishing with a 4.60 ERA and 117:67 K:BB.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Patrick Murphy: Heads to Double-A
The Blue Jays optioned Murphy to Double-A New Hampshire on March 9.
Murphy retains a spot on the 40-man roster for the second season in a row, but his big-league debut doesn't appear to be imminent. The 24-year-old underwhelmed in his first full season at New Hampshire in 2019, posting a 4.71 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 84 innings.... See More ... See Less
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