Roster Cuts: Who gets the axe next?

Ordinarily, getting two players off the disabled list would be a very welcome addition. It’s like a weight lifted off the shoulders of a ballclub by getting back two of their starting players.

The Toronto Blue Jays have an interesting conundrum, however. Their replacements are outperforming the replacees. With Edwin Encarnacion and Brian Tallet coming off the disabled list  very soon, that means the Blue Jays must clear two roster spots.

If not for salary commitments (Tallet at $2 million, Encarnacion at $4.75 million), I’d be inclined to leave both of them down in Las Vegas until they are really needed. Unfortunately, it seems like such a waste to not have them on the 25-man roster at this point in the season.


It’s like the Blue Jays slasher flick … two players must go, so which ones get the axe?

Casey Janssen

It’s been a long road to recovery for the former Jays setup man. Janssen had a bad streak of three consecutive appearances in late April, but has more or less turned it around in his last four appearances in May.

Janssen’s K/9 is up this season, yet so is his BB/9. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to send him back down to Las Vegas to
                      work on his control. Besides, Jeremy Accardo and Jesse Carlson
                      need some company down there.

Rommie Lewis

Rommie, buddy. Listen, I loved your story about how you came up through the minor leagues. I enjoy your unique name and your parents seem like good people.

Unfortunately, as the new guy, you are the most dispensable member of the bullpen. With one lefty replacing another, that eliminates the need for Cito’s token second left-hander.

Dana Eveland

Speaking of unique names, here’s one who I often confuse with the President of the UFC. Dana Eveland came storming out of the gate to start the season, but now he’s cooled off and his ERA has ballooned up to 4.81.


Personally, I would give him one more chance to see what Eveland has left in the tank, otherwise Brian Tallet might be
                      back in the fifth starter’s spot.

Mike McCoy

He is the manager’s dream player – Mike McCoy can play almost any position, he can run, and apparently makes a wicked omelette. That being said, Cito Gaston has a tough time fitting McCoy into games now that Aaron Hill is (somewhat) healthy.

Although a far better choice to pinch run than John McDonald, aside from that … Mike McCoy’s role on the bench is
                      severely limited. Maybe it’s better to just let him go get some
                      regular playing time in Las Vegas.

Randy Ruiz

This one pains me the most. Prior to the start of the season, I was so excited to finally see Randy Ruiz get some regular playing time and was hoping this would be his breakout season.


Then Cito committed to using Lyle Overbay as the starting first baseman and Adam Lind as the everyday DH, and that plan was completely shot down.

Ruiz has flashed moments of greatness this season, but the real problem is that his playing assignments are so few are far between that it’s difficult to tell if he will ever get more than a handful of at bats every few weeks.

For Ruiz to solidify his spot on the roster, he really needs to deliver when called upon to pinch hit or fill in at first base.

The problem is that it seems like he’s swinging for the fences each time because he knows that at bat could very well be his last. I hate to say it, but freedom for Randy Ruiz could be fleeting.

What do you think? Which guys do you think will get cut to make room for Brian Tallet and Edwin Encarnacion?

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

10 thoughts on “Roster Cuts: Who gets the axe next?

  • May 13, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    The more important question is what will the starting line-up look like once EE returns. Bautista to the bench?

  • May 13, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Ryan, I think Cito said earlier this week that EE gets the starting third-baseman job once he comes back.

    So for Bautista, that means either a platoon with Fred Lewis in left field (Bautista starts vs. lefties, Lewis starts vs. righties), or Bautista is just relegated to the bench.

    I have a feeling it's going to be the latter, because Lewis is just too hot right now.

  • May 13, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    "I have a feeling it's going to be the latter, because Lewis is just too hot right now."

    I think you underestimate Cito's love for Bautista. It would be a travesty if Lewis was relegated back to the bench, but we have seen Cito perpetrate travesties before…

  • May 13, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    That's a toughie. I don't want Tallet back in the starting rotation. I am waiting for Rzep to return to replace either Morrow or Eveland. I would put Tallet in the bullpen and send down Rommie simply because he is a lefthander. He can be brought back if someone struggles, or we deal someone at the deadline.

    As for Encarnacion, I want him at 3rd to see what he can do healthy. It's a toss up between JoBau and McCoy to be sent packing.

  • May 13, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Anon, I guess I didn't really put on my "Cito cap" when making this list. It seems logical to keep Lewis in left field, but like you said, Cito has an affliction with Jose Bautista. Personally, I'd much rather see Lewis in left field than Bautista.

    Matt, I'm with you – throw Tallet in the pen. Especially with the way Morrow and Eveland have pitched lately, the Jays need a reliever who can toss 2+ innings in relief. Tallet is the man to mop up, that's for sure.

    Maybe EE will surprise us this year, who knows?

  • May 13, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    I too am afraid what EE will do to the line up. Maybe he comes back and mashes to get more PT. That would be a nice problem. Tallet definitely has to go back to the pen. Other than Jansen, I'm not sure who else to send down. I haven't given up on Eveland yet. Mike McCoy isn't playing at all so maybe him?

  • May 14, 2010 at 12:56 am

    Mattt, who knows what happens with EE. I think he's still a year away from really doing some damage in this lineup, and of course – he's a free agent at the end of the year.

    As far as Tallet goes, I agree – he needs to go to the bullpen. The only scenario where he returns to the starting rotation is if they cut Eveland. And even if they do that, it will only be temporary until R-Zep comes back.

  • May 14, 2010 at 3:01 am

    Rommie and Ruiz should be the ones off to the minors, assuming Overbay gets to keep playing versus lefties.

    I'm with Ryan – my real worry is that EE's return will indirectly take playing time from F.Lew, or worse, Snider, as Bautista returns to the OF. Bautista should be on the bench, or platooning, at most.

    Tallet replacing Eveland wouldn't bother me too much, even though I think Eveland deserves a few more starts before the plug gets pulled. At least with Eveland scuffling lately, Cecil's rotation spot should be safe – Cecil getting demoted would really bother me.

  • May 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Bautista is almost 30, so I think you have to see what Edwin can do full-time at 3B for a full year, as opposed to wasting ABs on Bautista. Even with his "hot" start, Bautista is now hitting 214 / 323 / 458, which is in line with his career statistics.

  • May 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Robbie, I hate to see Ruiz go, but I think you're right. He hasn't been given much of a chance, but in this instance you have to really shine in the eyes of Cito to garner any sort of playing time.

    If Encarnacion's return affects Lewis or Snider's playing time, there will/should be riots. There is no need to platoon those guys.

    Steve, until now I never realized Bautista was pushing 30. That quasi-beard of his must be hiding his true age, because I always though he was around the 25 years old range. In no way is Bautista a "hot" hitter – to me, he's more of a defensive asset than an offensive one.

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