Toronto Blue Jays Promotion of Anthony Gose Puzzling

Matthew ApplebyContributor IIMay 21, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 23:  Outfielder Anthony Gose #43 of the Toronto Blue Jays fouls off a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on September 23, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

When Anthony Gose was called up to the Toronto Blue Jays from their Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, it raised more than a few eyebrows.

In fact, it was Gose who raised his eyebrow first.

On the same day that Gose was promoted, a story by Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News quoted Gose as saying, “I’m probably at the lowest point I’ve ever been in my career." Clearly, this is not an ideal time to pit him against major league pitching.

So when Buffalo manager, Marty Brown, called Gose to tell him he had been promoted it was just as puzzling to him as it would be to fans.

By all accounts, it seems like the Blue Jays had better options in every facet of the game. They could have promoted either Moises Sierra or Jim Negrych in order to keep Gose in the minors to continue his development, but elected to give Gose the call.

Why did the Blue Jays promote Gose? Manager John Gibbons was quick to admit that he was not promoted to be an everyday player, but rather to help out in specific situations. But even if the Blue Jays wanted to use him in certain situations, they may have been better off calling up someone else.

Gose has had a fairly tumultuous season in Triple-A after making his MLB debut last year. Gose was inserted into the Blue Jays lineup to replace an injured Jose Bautista, but failed to make a lasting impression.

At the time of his promotion, he had an average of just .227 and an OBP of .343 in the minors. Obviously, those are hardly the numbers you would like to see from someone being promoted to contribute offensively. But Gose is just 22 years old and still has some developing to do.

However, the problems that have plagued him at the plate throughout his professional career have persisted this season. He is showing very few signs of developing. Staying in Triple-A in order to improve would probably do him some good.

He has had trouble hitting left-handed pitchers, and his .167 average against them this season shows no indication of improvement. He has also been known to have an elevated strikeout count, and questionable plate discipline at times. His 41 strikeouts in 40 games this season have done little to put those rumors to rest.

While Gose may not be excelling at the plate, there are a number of players around him who are. Gose’s teammate, Negrych, has hit .386 in 34 games this season with an OPS of 1.033. Negrych is a second baseman but if the Blue Jays wanted offensive help, surely they could have moved Emilio Bonifacio to the outfield to make room for Negrych in the infield.

Another Buffalo Bisons player turning some heads is the 24-year-old Sierra, who spent some time with the Blue Jays last year as well. He has hit .324 with 18 RBI this season and plays the outfield, just like Gose.

Sierra has bettered Gose in almost every offensive category this season—including average, runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, total bases, OBP, SLG and OPS.

Perhaps Gose was recalled to add some speed on the base paths, but he has even struggled in that regard this season. He has five stolen bases, but has been caught stealing an additional four. Sierra, meanwhile, is a perfect three-for-three in steal attempts.

It appears the Blue Jays made a puzzling move promoting Gose to the major leagues. In every facet of the game there was a similar or better player they could have chosen instead, all while leaving Gose to continue his development in Triple-A.