John Gibbons says the Toronto Blue Jays have designated relief pitcher Esmil Rogers for assignment.
The Blue Jays manager appeared on Baseball Central on Sportsnet 590 The Fan where he said the team had to make a tough decision on Rogers after calling up pitcher Liam Hendriks from triple-A Buffalo for Friday’s start against the Oakland Athletics.
“We designated (Esmil) Rogers for assignment,” Gibbons said. “He’s the odd man out. It’s been a tough year for him. He’s got to go through waivers so someone can take a claim on him. If they don’t then he’ll go to triple-A with us. We talked to him after the game. It was a tough decision. He’s been around here a couple years and has done a nice job for us but it has been a battle for him this year.”
In 16 appearances this season, the 28-year-old Rogers had a 6.97 ERA, 1.69 WHIP with 21 strikeouts and seven walks in 20.2 innings. In 174 career games (42 starts), Rogers has recorded a 16-21 record with a 5.59 ERA for the Colorado Rockies, Cleveland Indians and Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays originally acquired Rogers in November of 2012 in a trade with the Indians in exchange for infielder Mike Aviles and catcher Yan Gomes.
GIBBONS EXCITED ABOUT RASMUSSEN
One reason the Blue Jays were willing to move on from Rogers was the emergence of Rob Rasmussen, who provides the club with another left-handed option out of the bullpen.
“If you can set your team that way, it makes you that much stronger,” Gibbons explained. “Everything is kind of rounding into shape (in the bullpen) now that (Casey) Janssen’s back. We got some pretty good options. Rasmusssen has a great arm.
“It was just a matter of it all coming together for him. He was pitching really well in triple-A. There are some really good left-handed hitters in this league so he’s going to get his opportunity and we’ll see what he can do.”
Rasmussen made his Blue Jays debut on May 20 when he appeared in 0.1 innings during Toronto’s 7-4 win over the Boston Red Sox, retiring David Ortiz. He was called up earlier in the week after posting a 2.65 ERA, 1.29 WHIP with 19 strikeouts and 10 walks in 13 appearances at triple-A Buffalo.
GOSE HITTING HIS STRIDE
Gibbons has been pleased with Anthony Gose during his previous stints with the Blue Jays, but he’s never seen the young outfielder in this type of form.
Since Gose was recalled on May 15, he has recorded five hits, two doubles, two runs, one RBI, and four walks while batting .294/.455/.412/.866.
“He’s contributing in a big way whether he’s throwing down a hit here or there, laying down a bunt, scoring from first base when no one else on the team could probably do it,” Gibbons said. “He’s really fit in. I’ve never seen him anything but good. He came up last year in September and did a nice solid job for a young kid. And he came up a couple games earlier this year and contributed in each ball game. Now with Colby (Rasmus) on the DL, he’s come up here and really shined.”
Gose has always been a plus-defender, but many questioned whether he’d be able to consistently hit at the big-league level after a tough year in Buffalo in 2013. Gibbons said it’s a rare case, but Gose could be a player who has more success at the big-league level than in the minors.
“He took some heat and was criticized last year,” he explained. “He struggled at triple-A and rightfully so. He’s always believed he’s a big-league player and he may be one of those guys that plays better in the big leagues. It doesn’t happen a lot, but I’ve seen it before.”