With the additions of both Colby Rasmus and Brett Lawrie in the past 10 days, the athletic quotient on the Blue Jays has risen considerably.
“When you think of guys who are 21 and 24 years old and have that kind of athleticism, the thing that gets us excited as coaches is to have a larger group of core players together that you begin to envision what the future might be,” manager John Farrell said.
Rasmus, after some early struggles, has started to contribute offensively, but his impact on a team that had some of the worst outfield defence in baseball this season has been dramatic.
“He’s a very fluid athlete. His routes are good and he gets a good read off the ball,” Farrell said. “He’s very graceful and some people might read that as he’s not giving full effort but when you have a fluid athlete like that, he’s not going to look as explosive as you might expect a speedy outfielder to be.”
MOVING ON UP
Dustin McGowan made his seventh and final rehab start for the Dunedin Blue Jays Friday, tossing three shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out four.
McGowan is moving up to the double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats for the month of August. If all goes well there, he is expected to get a September audition in Toronto.
In his most recent six outings at Dunedin, comprising 15 innings, McGowan allowed just 10 hits, six walks, two earned runs and 16 strikeouts.
“He’s averaging 95 m.p.h. and he’ll go to New Hampshire and continue with his progression,” Farrell said.
RHP Chad Gaudin, released two weeks ago by the Washington Nationals, has been signed by the Jays and sent to triple-A Las Vegas.
Gaudin, 28, spent parts of three seasons with the Jays earlier in his career but has played for six other MLB teams along the way.
“Right now, he’ll provide depth at Vegas,” Farrell said. “He’s started, he’s relieved, he has postseason experience.”