logo image

Roster Crunch Squeezes Former Vancouver Canadians

With the four Blue Jay full season affiliates set to officially announce their rosters today, the last week has seen a flurry of activity as the organization trims numbers in an effort to get their teams down to size. Of those released, many have ties to the Canadians, playing big roles in the current run of three straight Northwest League championships.

All of the names I have seen so far have been pitchers, which makes sense given the sheer volume of young, high upside arms the Jays have in the lower levels. Something I touched on when trying to predict what the Lansing Lugnuts rotation would look like. That same article, when discussing 2012/13 C Kyle Anderson, I said I didn’t think he would be released but then went on to argue that there was no role for him in the organization. The Jays obviously felt the same, allowing the Woodinville, Washington native to seek out other opportunities.

Another starter to be cut loose, and this may be a head-scratcher to some C’s fans who remember his dominant 2012 in Vancouver, was righty Javier Avendano. The Venezuela native wasn’t so dominant in Lansing last season though, and the Jays brass may have decided that, after six pro seasons, Javier had reached his ceiling and there was no point testing him in Dunedin. I think his average fastball velocity worked against him as well (similar to Kyle) as modern day bullpens seem to favour the hard throwers. That limits both Avendano and Anderson to the starting rotation, where numbers got the best of them. Hopefully they find work soon.

As mentioned, I wasn’t terribly surprised by both of the above. Two names that did catch me off guard though were seeing relievers Ian Kadish and Chuck Ghysels on the fallen list. Both used twitter as a medium to release the news:

After struggling to start 2013 in Lansing, Ghysels was sent to Vancouver in June. Once there he was pretty good, putting up a 1.50 FIP over 29.1 innings pitched, striking out 41.8% of the hitters he faced for an incredible 15.65 K/9 ratio. A big reason I was caught off guard, someone that can miss bats like that usually keeps their job. I never heard anything bad about Ghysels attitude or work ethic so it must just come down to the fact that the Jays didn’t see any more opportunities for Chuck.

The same has to be true for Kadish. The Ohio native was with the Canadians for the first half of 2012, putting up a 0.926 WHIP and 14.3 K/9. Those numbers got him promoted to Lansing where he also spent all of 2013. Once again, there is nothing in the numbers to suggest poor performance. Kadish gave up 63 hits in 67 innings pitched last season while putting up a very tidy 5.27 K/BB ratio. I would have thought Ian got the chance to relieve in the Florida State League.

Two more names with C’s ties to have fallen are Alvido Jimenez and Drew Permison. I feel bad for Permison. He spent parts of the last three seasons in Vancouver, but injury shut him down in July of ’12, keeping him out for a year. After making five appearances for the GCL Jays, Drew was sent to Vancouver, making six more appearances, including one in the playoffs.

Jimenez was a rule five pickup from the Cubs organization. Given only a year to see what he could do in a Jays uniform, the numbers suggest things went very well. But, as we’ve seen above, the numbers obviously don’t tell the full story as to how these sorts of decisions are made.

With extended spring training set to start Tuesday, there is a chance these four ex-C’s get picked up by another affiliated team. If not, I’m sure offers from Independent Leagues will be there should they choose to take them. Although their time in the Jays organization has come to an end, they all have a Vancouver Canadians championship ring and a whole lotta memories to hold on to.

Ghysels does an interview after getting final 3 outs in Championship Game (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)

Ghysels does an interview after getting final 3 outs in Championship Game (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)

Leave a Reply