Smith and Harris released by Blue Jays

Evan Smith works at spring training. All photos: Jay Blue

Evan Smith works at spring training. All photos: Jay Blue

By: Jay Blue

Jays From Away

As spring training moves to its close the Toronto Blue Jays are looking over their minor league rosters and things are getting more set in their places. Unfortunately for some, roster spaces are hard things to come by and the club is now releasing players to make room for others.

From Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, we learned today that Evan Smith and David Harris were both released by the Blue Jays, with Danny Barnes also optioned to Triple-A (along with the previously reported Matt Dermody).

EDIT: It’s been reported that Darrell Ceciliani has been optioned to minor league camp.

Smith, a 21-year-old lefty, has been in the Blue Jays’ system since being drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. In four seasons, he has compiled a 5.30 ERA and 1.62 WHIP over 151 innings, moving to the bullpen full-time last year. Despite four years of experience, he only pitched in four games at the full-season level. Smith has landed on his feet, signing on with the Angels’ organization (along with another released pitcher, Starlyn Suriel).

David Harris

David Harris

Harris, 25, showed some power and speed in his game over the four years of baseball he played since being a 36th-round draft pick in 2013. He compiled a .254/.297/.381 slash line with 15 career home runs and 27 stolen bases since being drafted out of the Southern Arkansas University.

The Bradenton, Florida native’s career highlight was hitting .338/.415/.503 in the Australian Baseball League in the 2015/16 offseason. Spending most of his time split between Lansing and Dunedin, Harris was suspended for a performance enhancing substance last year, playing in only 30 games.

Danny Barnes

Danny Barnes

Barnes, 27, wasn’t expected to make the Blue Jays’ Opening Day roster after having an outstanding year last year, culminating in his big-league debut. Barnes had a 5.79 ERA in 4.2 innings in spring training, striking out three and walking two. Last year, Barnes struck out 77 batters in 61 1/3 innings in the minors, posting a 0.73 ERA between Buffalo and New Hampshire.

Ceciliani, 26, had 29 plate appearances with the Blue Jays last year but struggled with injuries and played in just 82 games in Buffalo but hit a solid .266/.323/.441. This spring, Ceciliani has hit .242/.254/.403 with five doubles, a triple and a home run in 62 at bats.

Jay Blue

A lifelong Toronto Blue Jays fan, Jay Blue started blogging about the Jays when he was living in Berlin, Germany. He founded his own blog, Blue Jays from Away, to write about developments with his home town team, focusing on the Jays' minor league system. When he's not watching baseball, he is usually on the diamond umpiring or he's pursuing his research interests in the field of ethnomusicology.