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Notes From Blue Jays Minor League Camp – Part Three

There’s going to be a lot of firsts for the younger Blue Jays over the next weeks/months.  First trip to Montreal, where I really hope Miguel Castro tried poutine.  A lot of it.  First opportunity to play in Yankee stadium (although not for Dan Norris as Buck Martinez found out during yesterday’s interview):

First time a local Canadian kid not only plays for Toronto but walks away with the American League rookie of the year and MVP, setting up a perennial center field battle with incumbent Mike Trout…..hey, we can all dream.

While most Blue Jays fans focus on Monday, those of us who take the prospect porn phenomenon a step too far eagerly await the roster announcements for the full season teams ahead of their games Thursday (Lansing starts a day later due to their annual Crosstown Rivalry game).  While the teams should be finalized and announced Monday/Tuesday I managed to get a bit of inside information.

I’m going to be brief though, as it is Easter and family comes first.

I can’t remember if I wrote about the catching injuries or just tweeted them but both A.J. Jimenez and Derrick Chung are currently injured while Dan Klein has retired and Seth Conner has taken a coaching role in the organization (surely making him the youngest coach around).  With Josh Thole in Buffalo there is ‘depth’ for the big league club, but with the injuries (add Max Pentecost to that list) and retirements the overall depth within the system is a bit thin.

Lansing will be interesting as Dan Jansen gets his first taste of full-season ball and Justin Atkinson (I haven’t had this one confirmed yet) makes his pro debut behind the dish.

The outfield picture was clarified somewhat when Anthony Alford sent a tweet that seemingly confirmed who the three starters will be in Lansing.

For Vancouver Canadians fans, that means a few of ex-C’s are on the outside looking in. Brendan Kalfus, who spent his only two years of pro ball at the Nat was released by the Jays.  Brendan’s playing time dropped significantly last year so this isn’t much of a surprise.  Hopefully he gets picked up elsewhere.

Another two year C’s vet, Ian Parmley will start the season where he finished in 2014, crossing the street from the minor league complex to play for Dunedin in Florida Auto Exchange stadium.  Parmley hasn’t hit much his entire career but his speed and ability to play all three outfield positions makes him a valuable piece to have around.

The big surprise for me, as I’d been hearing nothing but positive things about him this spring was Chaz Frank being sent to extended.  Let’s just hope it’s temporary.  Although a setback such as this could see the North Carolina native contemplating retirement.

Speaking of which.  Another player I had been getting good reports on did decide to hang them up rather than return to high-A.  If you’ve been a reader of my blog you’ll know my feelings on right-hander Ben White.  That being said, an introduction of a cutter this spring lent credence to the reports that he, along with Matt Boyd, were breakout candidates in 2015.  Makes the snap decision to retire a strange one but I’m sure he had his reasons.

In part one of this series, I mentioned that another potential break out pitcher, Ryan Borucki, had been sidelined with ‘tennis elbow’ this spring.  I mused that injuries like this were never good news and a cryptic tweet from Borucki seemed to confirm the worst:

I’ve since learned that the surgery wasn’t Tommy John but a mere ‘cleanout’ of the elbow.  Again, I’m hoping for the best here but you have to prepare yourself for the worst.

Obviously, with so many more players still unassigned (well, they have been, we just don’t know where yet) there’s still plenty of surprises to come.  This truly is the best time of year.

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