By Mike Harrington
Anthony Gose is batting .200 in May with 23 strikeouts in 70 at-bats and only four extra-base hits. He's batting .227 for the season with 41 strikeouts in 154 at-bats -- well on his way to more than 100 Ks for the fifth straight year. In a column for today's paper, he told Bucky Gleason, "Right now, I’m probably at the lowest point I’ve ever been in my career. It’s been frustrating. It has felt like the longest month of my life."
May just got better for Gose. The Blue Jays gave him a surprise callup to the big leagues today, returning reliever Mickey Storey to the Bisons.
Gose somehow leads the IL in runs (36) but has been largely quiet since putting up a .309 average in the first 14 games. Full Gose stat breakdowns here.
Why Gose? Melky Cabrera is battling balky hamstrings and really can't play the outfield much. Gose can play both left and center to spell Cabrera and Colby Rasmus. Moises Sierra (.326-4-18) has been much better here but has played almost exclusively right field. If you were calling up an outfielder from Buffalo, he would be the guy who has played the best by a lot.
Then there's this: Prior to today's 1:07 game against Tampa Bay in Rogers Centre, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told reporters that Gose will primarily be used as a pinch-runner and late-inning defensive replacement. And Gose is not in today's Toronto lineup.
Gose might be back in Buffalo sooner rather than later when Rajai Davis comes back from the disabled list too. So I'm thinking this is a short-term deal by need. It won't play well in the Buffalo clubhouse otherwise, e.g. the prospect gets the call no matter what he's doing even though out-of-organization veterans are producing much more.
A head-scratcher from the deep thinkers in Toronto for sure. If Gose is in the big leagues, he has to play. Sit the bench to pinch run or play defense in the eighth inning? That's goofy. He needs to be on the field every day in Buffalo figuring things out.