Good ol’ Rusty Canz
Well here’s a tidy piece of business: according to a team release, the Jays have outrighted Mickey Storey to Buffalo in order to claim 1B/DH/OF Russ Canzler from the Clevelands.
Yes, it’s a decidedly minor move, but it works– for me, at least– in a couple of ways.
First: Storey is a rather interesting arm, as I discovered when writing about him back on Wednesday, and while I don’t know if he’s necessarily intriguing enough to keep him on the 40-man, he had a nice season for the Astros in 2012, and the fact that they Jays have managed to be the club to sneak him through waivers– after the Astros tried twice and the Yankees once– and into the minors is a good thing. Definitely a nice piece of bullpen depth there.
Second, Canzler is a 26-year-old positionless right-handed hitter who is has hit particularly well in his last three minor league stops, and has posted crazy numbers against left-handed pitching, albeit in a tiny (31 PA) big league sample.
It’s hard to put anything resembling weight on that, especially since his minor league numbers don’t show the pronounced platoon split that his big league numbers do. The splits on his Minor League Central player page show him in 2011 as having a .920 OPS against left-handed pitching and a .935 against right-handers while winning the International League MVP award at Durham.
The data on that site for 2012 seems to be incomplete (it shows him as having 530 PA in the minors in 2012, while FanGraphs has 539, and there’s an even bigger discrepancy on his big league numbers), but it has him with a .788 OPS against right-handers and an .813 OPS against lefties while at Columbus– though he hit for more power against right-handers (.226 ISO compared to .190).
So… do we pencil him in as Adam Lind’s platoon partner just yet? I don’t think so. But there’s some potential there, for sure. Maybe not as much as the .457 wOBA in those 31 plate big league appearances against lefties suggests, but some.