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Anthopoulos: Diaz could stay when Reyes returns

The Blue Jays don't have a true fourth outfielder on the roster, and instead are relying the just-promoted Diaz, who's primarily an infielder limited outfield experience. (Frank Gunn/CP)
April 3, 2014, 9:11 AM

The Toronto Blue Jays are hopeful that the injuries sustained by Jose Reyes and Casey Janssen require nothing more than short-term stints on the disabled list, which means the team will likely face some roster decisions within a couple of weeks.

When the time comes to make those calls, Jonathan Diaz won’t necessarily be shuttled to triple-A. Alex Anthopoulos explained on Brady and Walker on Sportsnet 590 The FAN Thursday that Diaz ‘certainly can work himself into the mix’ for playing time at second base with Maicer Izturis and Ryan Goins if he keeps impressing defensively.

“Ryan certainly is our second baseman right now, but he still has to perform and things can change and he’s trying to establish himself as well,” Anthopoulos said. “All those guys they’re always competing, they always trying to show something one way or the other.”

Alex Anthopoulos on Sportsnet 590 the FAN

Diaz, a Blue Jays draft pick who spent the 2013 season in the Boston Red Sox organization, re-signed with Toronto last off-season. Before the signing, the Blue Jays talked about claiming him on waivers and once he hit free agency, he became Anthopoulos’ No. 1 target among minor league free agents.

“We probably shouldn’t have allowed him to walk as a free agent,” Anthopoulos said.

While Goins and Diaz aren’t expected to offer much offence, they shore up the middle infield defence. The GM explained that this keeps starting pitchers in the game longer and can even have a trickle-down effect on the bullpen.

RASMUS TALKS: If the Blue Jays are discussing a contract extension with Colby Rasmus, they aren’t going to disclose any details. Rasmus, a free agent after the season, could be the subject of extension talks at some point this year. “If it was I wouldn’t say it,” Anthopoulos said, pointing out that parallel talks have become a daily distraction in other markets.

Though the GM didn’t list Max Scherzer and Justin Masterson by name, those two AL Central right-handers have had public extension talks in recent weeks, with the Detroit Tigers even issuing a statement explaining that they had not reached a deal with Scherzer.

LIND PLATOON: Adam Lind homered in his first game of the season Tuesday, and the Blue Jays are encouraged by the left-handed hitter’s start to the year. But they still prefer to sit him against tough southpaws such as David Price and Matt Moore. “Ideally for Adam primarily versus right-handers and against the odd left-hander he may have had success against,” Anthopoulos said. “I think it keeps him fresh as well.”

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