By: Jay Blue
Blue Jays From Away
Things are definitely rosier in Florida. When last I wrote you good folks in Blue Jays Land, I was in the frozen tundra (well, Toronto) but now, I’m in Florida for my annual trip to where the sun shines and the baseball players play in March (and this year in February). The news I picked up over the Twitter wire when I alighted the plane in Tampa was that the Blue Jays had optioned four more players to the minor leagues after today’s game.
The Toronto Blue Jays announced today that Richard Urena, Harold Ramirez, Anthony Alford and Lourdes Gurriel were optioned to the minor leagues. Obviously these players needed to be optioned, because all are on the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster.
Richard Urena, a 21-year-old Dominican shortstop, has just about 30 games under his belt at Double-A New Hampshire but has been acquitting himself well in spring training, hitting .320/.393/.364 over 25 at bats. With the Blue Jays going easy on Troy Tulowitzki for the first few weeks of the spring, Urena was getting a lot of playing time and earned raves most of the time (aside from the game he played on his 21st birthday on February 26. This is Urena’s first option as he was added to the Jays’ 40-man roster this offseason. With just a couple of weeks until the end of camp, Urena was optioned to Double-A.
Harold Ramirez, 22, hadn’t played in spring training, getting just five at-bats in three games without getting a hit. Acquired along with Francisco Liriano and Reese McGuire in August, Ramirez played just one game for the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, after spending the first chunk of the year with the Pirates’ Double-A affiliate in Altoona. Ramirez is using his second option year and was optioned to New Hampshire.
Anthony Alford, one of the Jays’ top prospects was optioned to Double-A New Hampshire as well, lending credence to the thoughts out there that the Fisher Cats are going to be an exciting team to watch. Alford got into 15 games and had 32 at-bats this spring, hitting .188/.212/.406, showing some power with two doubles, a triple and a home run. Somewhat trouble is the fact that he walked just once and struck out 15 times.
The final move involved the Jays sending Lourdes Gurriel down to Dunedin. Gurriel, signed this offseason out of Cuba for a $22-million deal over seven years, hasn’t played much this spring thanks to some nagging injuries but he’s made a big impression when he has played, going 2-for-7 with a double and a home run, driving in four.