I assumed either Eric Thames or Travis Snider would come up to help replace the injured Jose Bautista in right field in Toronto, but it appears the Blue Jays have other plans.
Anthony Gose, one of the fastest players in the minors, was pulled out of the game for Triple-A Las Vegas tonight, indicating that he could be called up Tuesday.
The 21-year-old Gose is hitting .293/.376/.434 with five homers and 29 steals for Las Vegas this season. That is one of the top environments for offense in the minors, but oddly enough, most of Gose’s production has come on the road; he’s hitting .323/.399/.469 in away games this season.
Gose is the best defensive outfielder in the Jays organization, which will make for an interesting decision for Toronto. Do they temporarily shift Colby Rasmus to right, even though he’s playing well at the moment? Or do they put Gose there, even though he’s the better defender and his entire career in right field amounts to six appearances in 2008-09? Given that Rasmus has a history of dealing with adversity poorly, Gose to right seems like the better move to me.
Frankly, I still think Snider or Thames makes more sense. Gose is an intriguing talent, but he strikes out an awful lot for a guy with middling power (93 times in 92 games this season). He’s still pretty raw, and since the Jays don’t need him as a center fielder, I think it’d be best to leave him in Triple-A until September.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.