Blue Jays Release Two and Make Further Cuts

The Blue Jays have released two more MiLBers and whittled the opening day roster down

LHP Evan Smith and OF David Harris have been handed their walking papers by the Blue Jays.

Smith is a 21 year old, 6’5 reliever who reached Lansing for a brief stint last year. He put together a 7.96 ERA in 37.1 innings between Lansing and Vancouver. He’s still young and seemed likely latch on with an organization that’s not so crowded with relievers. Sure enough he’s already been signed by the Angels, along with another recent Blue Jays releasee, Starlyn Suriel (according to Jesse Goldberg-Strassler).

Someone like Gabe Noyalis could be bumped up from Bluefield to fill Smith’s spot in Vancouver’s ‘pen.

David Harris, 25, played just 30 games in 2016, all with Dunedin—this was due to a PED suspension. He slashed .221 .268 .317 last season.  Harris was the club’s 36th round pick in 2013 and had spent four years in the organization. He had shown a somewhat better bat in the past (career slash line: .254 .297 .381) but hadn’t displayed much on the base-paths or with his glove.

With his lack of a standout skill, his age and his suspension, the release was not a shock. Harris’ release opens up an opportunity for Josh Almonte, Andrew Guillote or Jake Thomas on Dunedin’s bench.

Juan Graterol officially lost out on the backup catching job as he was optioned to AAA. Of course, Jarrod Saltalamacchia has essentially had the job since he was signed. Graterol will handle the bulk of the duties behind the plate for the Bisons.

Dominic Leone pitched well in spring training, 3.09 ERA, 15 K in 11.2 IP, but was behind the eight ball due to his remaining options and was sent down.

Also optioned yesterday was Darrell Ceciliani who had been a long shot contender for the LF/bench OF mix. Ceciliani was given plenty of chances to win a spot, in fact he led the team in spring training ABs. Despite some big hits, he managed just a .657 OPS.

Bo Schultz received the unfortunate news that his injury will require Tommy John surgery and therefore will be out all of 2017. Schultz looked to have an inside track on bullpen spot due to his option situation before the injury.


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