There are suddenly quite a few moving parts when it comes to the Blue Jays’ roster situation. As Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports, ongoing developments continue to create uncertainty even as camp draws to a close.
Blue Jays skipper Charlie Montoyo revealed today that neither Ryan Tepera nor John Axford will be an option to start the season (Twitter link via Davidi). Teperea will open on the injured list due to inflammation in his right elbow. Axford, meanwhile, is not yet on the 40-man roster and likely won’t be for quite some time, as he’s been diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow.
The Jays haven’t provided a timeline for either to return to health, though the loss of Tepera is particularly tough for Toronto. The 31-year-old righty has been a stable presence in the Jays’ bullpen since late in the 2016 season and has a 3.53 ERA with 9.4 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9 in 160 2/3 innings over the past three seasons. He’d been expected to serve as a setup man this season.
Those injuries would have opened the door wide for veteran Bud Norris, who surprisingly was forced to settle for a minor league deal with the Jays midway through camp. Unfortunately, as Davidi reports, Norris was a late scratch from his scheduled outing.
There’s no indication at this point that he’s dealing with anything more than a typical spring blip, but that doesn’t mean it’s not deflating to see another issue arise at this stage of camp. As Davidi puts it: “given the other injuries and the fact that Norris had an opt-out that expired at midnight Thursday, there was certainly a New Orleans Is Sinking kind of feel to the day.”
Of all the recent developments in Dunedin, the strangest was the latest concussion scare for outfielder Dalton Pompey. As Davidi explains, Pompey was somehow struck in the head by one or more bats that had been store in his locker. Given his worrying history of head injuries, Pompey was scratched and scheduled for further evaluation.
It’s anyone’s guess at this point how his roster situation will be resolved, with this health issue potentially representing a wild card. Pompey has profiled as a trade or DFA candidate, but could perhaps get one more re-start in the organization if he requires a stretch on the injured list.
These late-breaking developments have had quite an impact on the Blue Jays’ final roster plans. As Davidi explains, the club now may have some gaps to fill, particularly if it decides to give up on Rule 5 pick Elvis Luciano. That may also bring some opportunity, though, as the Jays could have some unexpected roster flexibility to work with as players shake loose from other organizations in advance of Opening Day.
Blue Jays are just lucky they have a couple good prospects, but that’s about all they got.
Thank you for your input
Dalton is a terribly unlucky human being.
Yep, unless this is an injury to keep him around a bit longer?!
Ryan madson still out there!
So is BIG SEXY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Actually he’s in a Florida jail!!!!!!!!!
The only way to add pitchers who are actually ready to roll is the waiver wire. And plenty of relievers typically get placed on waivers at the end of camps.
Elvis Luciano is an amazing name
Dalton Pompey should wear a suit of armor at all times.
Jeff and Steve, in the second sentence of the second paragraph you spelled Tepera’s last name as “Teperea” instead. In the second sentence of the sixth paragraph, it should be “stored in his locker” rather than “store” in that instance.
I know you guys really enjoy people pointing out errors for you, so I figured when you do a dual article together, perhaps Steve could proofread while you type, or vice versa.
Then all the MLBTR writers can have a sleepover in a tree house like in Sandlot. I picture Steve as Squints, perhaps Smalls for Jeff Todd.
I know it’s Spring Training for MLBTR writers as well, but all roster spots are precarious. I hear that rookie Xabial has impressed Tim Dierkes with his grit as of late, so one of you might end up DFA or traded to Bleacher Report. I’m rooting for you guys! I’ve been a Jeff Todd fan since the minor league days!
Probably shouldn’t place bats on top of lockers.
John Axford should have never been a serious option to begin with. Hasn’t earned that opportunity. There are enough vets in the bullpen. Try out some younger blood. This is a team with a so-called “youth movement” afterall.
Luciano is not ready to pitch in the majors. However, if they think he will be ready in 4 years then carry him for a couple months followed by a 60-day DL stint and let him pitch the final weeks. Gaming that system.
If he landed on the DL, he’d have to make up that time on the active roster in 2020. No loop hole there.
Oh look, another assumption…..
You carry him beginning of 2020 also.
Yes, it’s a loophole not to expose a Low-A ball teenager and completely destroy the kid.
He has to spend at least 90 consecutive days on the roster this season or they have to carry him on the 25 man for all of next year. There’s no gaming the system with the DL.
You didn’t site xFIP or any other bullcrap stat this time. You get a golf clap.
Yeah, sorry I said 2 months instead of 3. Stupid me.
Axford pitched to a 3.73 xFIP for the Jays last year and they were able to flip him to the Dodgers for pitching prospect Cory Copping. And all it cost them was a minor league deal.
I’d say he’s earned another shot.
Ah yes, did not take long to bring a nerd stat into a non-argument supporting an aging pitcher coming off 6.43 and 5. 27 ERA seasons the last two seasons. xFIP, a mathematical equation used to assess potential future trends. Thanks for nothing.
You say Axford has earned another shot as a washed-up, fading reliever? Good, do it for a team that is not in desperate need of some young arms gaining experience. Axford’s best shot should be in Buffalo – close to him.
xFIP is a representation of pitcher performance with fielding and park factors removed. It’s been proven to be more predictive than ERA in assessing future performance but I can see from your derogatory remarks you have an inherit bias against advanced metrics.
That’s okay, I’m sure there was a button guy who was really pissed when zippers were invented.
John Axford struggles to get guys out. Not a lie. You can have your advanced metrics.
Like it or not there’s always one guy who wants to wear a beeper and use a corded phone while he adjusts the bunny ears on his tube television and complains about the kids on his lawn.
“New Orleans is Sinking” feel and yet there’s no one with hip issues.
I’ll show myself out.
Geez, if Pompey has a history of head injuries, shouldn’t he be wearing a football helmet on and off the field?
How was Luciano Rule-5 eligible when he just turned 19 a few weeks ago?
He had his original contract voided by the Royals due to health concerns so even though he resigned he was eligible for the Rule 5.
Was it really a surprise Norris needed a minor league contract? Seems like it’s really only a surprise to media people who think each player should get $14m a year minimum.
One or more bats? Sounds like a certain someone forgot the safe word.
Struck on the head with bats in his locker, really? Is that a joke?
Not surprised about Pompey’s weird injury. Saunders stepped on a sprinkler and Pillar sneezed too hard. Spring training is bad luck for the Jays.
Olecranon is not a bone, it is the extension of the ulna joining with 2 other bones to make up the elbow. Once this site gave a crap about editing and getting things correct. Now it is just slap what ever up like everyone else. Screw even a quick google to see if they are actually correct.
Jeff and Steve are poets first, writers second, baseball fans third, and doctors about sixteenth or seventeenth.
Sorry to see Axford having that elbow issue. He always seemed like a good dude. Miss that gnarly stache he used to rock with the Brewers. He should have stuck with that look.