Chad Beck will have to clear waivers again, six days after the Blue Jays re-claimed him from the Pirates and lost Russ Canzler in the process. Why? Because Toronto would rather have Tommy Hottovy, a lefty reliever. So we basically prefer Hottovy over Canzler – not sure about this one, but I guess I have to put faith in Alex Anthopoulos.
By picking up Hottovy, it tells me that Darren Oliver is probably retiring. The Jays don’t seem interested in trading him to another AL contender for what would seem to be a minimal return. So instead, the Jays pluck Hottovy from the very same Rangers after Texas designated him to make room for newly signed Lance Berkman.
Hottovy, 31, appeared in nine MLB games with the Royals this past season, but spent most of the year at triple-A, where he posted a 2.52 ERA with 11.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 50 innings.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Jays designated Beck, 27, again. I imagine someone will pick him up. Last season, the right-handed reliever went 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA in triple-A over 48 innings. Beck isn’t the strikeout guy that Hottovy can be (only 24 over 48 triple-A innings), but did put up solid numbers. However, Hottovy is left handed. This means a lot if Oliver sails off into the sunset.
I see why the Jays would want Hottovy over Beck, but I still would have preferred Canzler over either of them. Especially since after Oliver, you still have Aaron Loup and Brett Cecil as lefty options out of the bullpen (not to mention J.A. Happ – but he’ll most likely be a long man/swing guy). I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hottovy and Cecil make the 25-man club and see Loup start the year in triple-A to provide depth. Loup has minor league options, so the Jays don’t have to expose him to waivers if they send him down. Not that Loup hasn’t earned a shot in the ‘pen. He went 0-2 last year with a 2.64 ERA over 33 games. But again, he’s not a strikeout guy (21 strikeouts in 30.2 innings)
Now all we need is a right-handed bat with a bit of pop for our final bench spot…who could that be?
The Blue Jays claimed right-hander Chad Beck off of waivers from the Pirates. The 27-year-old had been designated for assignment on December 26th.
Beck spent the 2012 season in the Blue Jays’ organization, appearing in 14 games at the MLB level. The Pirates had claimed him off of waivers from Toronto on October 25th. Beck posted a 6.32 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 15 2/3 innings with Toronto this past season. He spent the majority of the year at Triple-A Las Vegas, where he posted a 1.31 ERA with 4.5 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 48 innings out of the bullpen.
Perhaps this is the reason that the Jays took Russ Canzler off their 40-man roster (and lost him to the Indians on waivers, who just lost him to the Yankees on waivers). The Jays know what they are getting with Beck. He provides solid right handed bullpen depth. His not so stellar numbers at the MLB level last season should be better over a longer period of time and the Jays know it. It’s not easy posting a 1.31 ERA at the hitter friendly Pacific Cost League in triple-A where Beck spent the majority of last season.
Personally, I’d rather have Canzler. But perhaps it’s easier to find a right handed bench bat then a solid bullpen depth righty.