Viva Las Roster Moves

With the bevy of roster moves the Blue Jays have made over the past month, I suggested on Twitter last week that they should just construct a monorail from Toronto to Las Vegas.

It might not be such a bad idea, as members of the Blue Jays roster are already racking up frequent flyer miles between Toronto and Las Vegas. Just take a look at all the roster moves since Opening Day:

April 7Casey JannsenSent to Minors
April 8Octavio DotelRemoved From 15-Day DL
April 9Mike McCoySent to Minors
April 9Scott RichmondCalled up from Minors
April 9Scott RichmondSent to Minors
April 11DeWayne WiseSigned to Minor League Contract
April 11Corey PattersonRecalled from Minors
April 12David PurceyDesignated for Assignment
April 12Rajai DavisPlaced on 15-Day DL
April 12Brad MillsRecalled from Minors
April 12Casey JanssenRecalled from Minors
April 13Brad MillsSent to Minors
April 15Edwin EncarnacionPlaced on Bereavement List
April 15Mike McCoyCalled up from Minors
April 15Luis PerezCalled up from Minors
April 17Mike McCoySent to Minors
April 18Edwin EncarnacionReinstated from Bereavement List
April 19Jesse LitschSent to Minors
April 19Frank FranciscoRemoved From 15-Day DL
April 20Luis PerezSent to Minors
April 21Brandon MorrowRemoved From 15-Day DL
April 21Chris WoodwardCalled Up from Minors
April 21Brett CecilSent to Minors
April 23Jayson NixPlaced on the 15-Day DL
April 23Mike McCoyCalled up from Minors
April 24Aaron HillPlaced on 15-Day DL
April 24Jesse LitschCalled up from Minors

In total, the Blue Jays have made 27 roster moves since April 1st. As a comparison, last year the Blue Jays didn’t reach the 27 roster move mark until nearly halfway through the season on June 20th.


Mike McCoy has arguably had the worst of it, making his third trip with the club already. Scott Richmond was called up and sent down the same day, and Jesse Litsch was sent down and called up within the same week.

It can’t be good for a player’s psyche to be yo-yo’d around like that; living in the constant fear of being sent down to the minor leagues at a moment’s notice.

Unlike other organizations, the Toronto Blue Jays are not fortune to have a Triple A affiliate in their own backyard. Cork Gaines of Business Insider discovered the Blue Jays are the team with the longest distance between their Triple A team and the parent organization.

The distance between Toronto and Las Vegas is 2,261 miles or 3,369 kilometers. That’s nearly twice as long as the next furthest team, the Minnesota Twins and their affiliate in Rochester, New York.

Las Vegas is a long cry from when the Syracuse Chiefs used to be the Blue Jays Triple A team from 1978 to 2008. It used to be a short one hour flight across Lake Ontario from point A to point B.

Back in the day, the Blue Jays probably could have called a player up from Syracuse at the start of the game, have them hop on a plane, and they could arrive in Toronto and be inserted into the game later on.

Now since the 51’s are in Las Vegas, the turnaround time has to be at least a day. And in come cases, things change so quickly that players may even be on their flight from Las Vegas to Toronto when another roster move is made.

The only piece of advice I can offer to players being called up from Las Vegas is don’t unpack and get too comfortable, because you might be on the red eye out of town that night.

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.



  1. sporkless

    April 25, 2011 - 2:05 pm

    Should be Lake Ontario, not Erie.

    I wonder if this distance thing might be a bit overstated. At least there are frequent direct flights from Vegas to Toronto (and any other road city, really). How much extra time does it really take, if any?

  2. Ian - BJH

    April 25, 2011 - 3:49 pm

    sporkless, this is where my lack of attention in Grade 6 Geography class is very prevalent.

    I probably am over-exaggerating a little bit. In actuality, it's only about 4-5 hours from LV to TO, so it's not like the players are spending the entire day on the plane.

    It's just that since the moves have been so fast and furious lately, things really can change on a dime, which sucks for players who are either just landing in Vegas or Toronto.

  3. Ian - BJH

    April 25, 2011 - 6:06 pm

    Ball Fan, good point! If there were a Baseball History class back in grade school, perhaps I would've paid more attention.

  4. Ian - BJH

    April 26, 2011 - 12:11 am

    Dan, you are correct sir, my mistake. Obviously it was a minor league deal otherwise Wise would be on the roster. And the way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised to see him on the 25-man very soon.

  5. ~julie~

    April 26, 2011 - 12:38 am

    it's a long flight with a time change, that's for sure.

    this is a good blog and thanks for the reminder. i'm finding it rather reading online comments over at the star where clearly uninformed people are screeching about bringing up lawrie and thames etc etc. the minors are there for a reason, people! let them develop. plenty of time to bring them up yet. the jays are holding it together with a skeleton crew and through a very tough schedule. hopefully by the time we get all the regulars back, we'll be into a better part of the schedule and we can pick up a solid few wins. until then…..we wait 🙂

  6. Ian - BJH

    April 26, 2011 - 3:11 pm

    Julie, exactly – the baseball season isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. No sense in calling up Brett Lawrie or Eric Thames at this point in April because the season is not on the line at this point.

    Maybe if it were July and the Blue Jays were 2 games out and needed help from the cavalries, then yes I'd say bring them up. But I don't see the advantage of starting their service time clock early when it's only 1 month into the season.

  7. Mamboon

    April 27, 2011 - 3:08 pm

    How do I get to bid on the Toronto travel agency contract?

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