So much for Tommy Hottovy, as according to a team release he has been designated for assignment in order to make room on the Jays’ 40-man for catcher Henry Blanco, who has been signed to a non-guaranteed $750,000 Major League contract.
The fact that it’s a big league deal means that the veteran of fifteen seasons won’t find himself riding minor league buses for Buffalo. So… what the hell does it mean?
One guess would be that he’s some kind of insurance against a Spring Training injury to one of the other catchers, but I suppose it’s also possible that the club sees him as a better fit for the role we all have been expecting to see Josh Thole in.
Totally just spitballin’ here, but I dunno… Thole only turned 26 in October, he had a horrid 2012 that wasn’t necessarily helped by a concussion suffered in early May, and he still can be optioned down to Triple-A.
I don’t want to oversell the concussion thing. I mean, it’s not like Thole had been anything close to great in years prior, but he was certainly more passable as a hitter, and it makes me wonder if maybe the Jays aren’t quite ready to give up on him as a guy who is only going to play once every five days– or if they don’t think he’ll force his way into a right-left platoon role, either.
Conversely, RA Dickey told ESPN New York last off-season that Blanco was the only catcher who ever looked “natural” catching his knuckleball, and Blanco is more than brutal enough with the bat to not be considered as anything but a catcher to be used extremely sparingly– even if you look at his splits, which, oddly, are slightly better over the last three years against right-handed pitching (though still… y’know… atrocious).
It at least gives them the option to consider? Maybe?
OK, how about someone to catch for Dickey in Dunedin? No? Then maybe just a straight-up badass? Always a need for that.