It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to dig up any dirt from Blue Jays extended spring training. Seems my source has met himself a nice young lady down there in Dunedin which leaves precious little time to speak to ol’ Charlie. Plus, and this was covered during the mechanics piece, extended is an absolute grind, and with it ending reasonably soon, am sure the last thing these guys want to do is talk to an amateur like myself after a tough day on the diamond.
Nevertheless, my perseverance (re: stalking) paid off and I was able to grab a few tidbits on Friday while watching the Blue Jays take game one of their crucial, ‘top of the table’, weekend set with the Athletics.
“Robbie had a little bit of a setback with his arm, he’s been sent back to extended and he’s going to see a doctor down there”
Now, sending a pitcher back to extended after a ‘minor setback’ sounds fishy to me, and given the Jays history of injury disinformation (even for minor leaguers), I wasn’t in a trusting mood so asked my source what he knew. His answer wasn’t great. From what he can gather, the injury is serious and will more than likely require Tommy John surgery. Despite the prevalence of the procedure these days and the high percentage of full recovery, that’s a devastating blow for the Ladner native.
Obviously nothing has been confirmed yet and I am only going on what I’ve been told. But, as mentioned above, sending Tom back to Florida for a minor issue makes no sense. I’m more inclined to believe what I’ve been told. Possibly rehab will be decided as the best course of action, but if the surgery is even being mentioned at the moment it will probably need to be done at some point. Best to just get it out of the way.
On the bright side, it may go a little ways towards explaining Robson’s struggles thus far this season.
Roberto Osuna, another ex-C, who already went under the knife and is on his way to recovery got a bit of heat back at the end of March when he threw his first side session post-surgery. I was curious to see how he is progressing but have been stymied from Osuna’s twitter updates due to my lack of Spanish.
My man on the inside didn’t have any positive news, saying he hadn’t seen Osuna throw for over two weeks. He’s been restricted to drill work during that timeframe. Now, maybe that’s part of the rehab program (that would require more research), throwing some, then resting to work on other areas. But it may also be a setback. I think Osuna’s original timeline to return was July/August this year so won’t jump to any conclusions until such time. Still, with 2013 2nd rounder (and someone I was hoping to see at the Nat this year) Clinton Hollon announcing he is to undergo the procedure shortly, it’s all a bit depressing.
With all the bad news out of the way, let’s look at the good, in quick hit fashion.
Anthony Alford has ‘looked great’ so far and the best guess is that he lands in Vancouver until he’s back to school in July. That would be amazing. Speaking of prospects lining up for the Canadians. I asked about Franklin Barreto and his chances of heading to the Nat. ‘Yes, for sure.’
Now, obviously the above is speculation on the part of my contact, as no assignments have been made as of yet. But he did say the groups in extended have been shuffled around a bit too be more inline with what the short season teams will look like. So, it sounds like guys down there are definitely getting an inkling of where they’ll be, which was kind of confirmed by this tweet from C’s broadcaster Rob Fai:
— Nation ’14 (@RobFaiNation) May 23, 2014
That makes it sound like Rob knows. When I mentioned it, the list I got was as follows:
Add in Alford and Barreto to that mix and you have a pretty exciting opening day lineup. One that will be fleshed out post draft.
As for the velocity hashtag the name that immediately came to mind for me was Miguel Castro. I asked about him and got this back ‘Castro has been lights out, throws absolute cheddar.’ Would be really nice to see him in C’s red and black.
Another pitcher I was curious about was Jairo Labourt. After struggling with his mechanics to start the season in Lansing, he was sent back to extended. The report I got was that he is absolutely dealing down there and should be sent back to the Lugs. Will be curious to see if that happens, and if so, what the corresponding move, if any, may be.
There we have it. I’ll hope to get at least one more extended update before the teams are announced, but it definitely sounds like teams are taking shape. And I hope for some better news on 2013 playoff hero Tom Robson but am not going to hold my breath.