Yesterday, I asked if it was time for the Blue Jays to call up Alejandro Kirk. It seems we have our answer.
The Blue Jays made a flurry of roster moves today, adding Kirk to the roster and activating Ken Giles from the 45-day Injured List. In order to make room on the 40-man roster for both players, Billy McKinney and Caleb Joseph have been designated for assignment.
The Giles news was inevitable. We knew that Friday was going to be the day he was activated since the team slid him to the 45-day IL a few days ago and Sept. 10 became the earliest day he could be activated.
But the rest of this? A little surprising.
There’s certainly merit to adding Kirk to the roster, as he provides a very interesting bat, but there’s also a big risk attached to throwing the 21-year-old into the deep end. Kirk has never played above High-A and will now have to learn Toronto’s pitchers and Major League pitching at the same time.
I had speculated that the team might opt to keep the veteran Joseph as the backup catcher and use Kirk as a designated hitter or pinch hitter option, but it seems they believe he’s ready to carry the load as a legitimate big-league catcher.
And then there’s McKinney, who just seemed to be buried behind a bunch of other outfielders on the roster. Randal Grichuk, Lourdes Gurriel, and Teoscar Hernandez are obviously Toronto’s main three outfielders, we know the organization likes Derek Fisher, and it seems as though Jonathan Davis, who provides a very good glove and a surprisingly good bat, has passed over McKinney on the depth chart.
I had thought that McKinney might get a bit more of a look, but the front office must have realized that he doesn’t have a future with the team. This also means that both players the Jays got in the J.A. Happ trade (McKinney along with Drury) have been designated for assignment this year.