Johnson, Morrow added to roster after being activated from the disabled list
ST. PETERSBURG -- The reinforcements have arrived and there's a lot more of them than usual as the Blue Jays added 10 players to their roster on Tuesday.
Teams were allowed to expand their rosters to 40 players on Sept. 1 and while the Blue Jays didn't go quite that high, they didn't miss by much. The club promoted seven players and activated three from the disabled list.
The additions are headlined by top prospects Daniel Norris and Dalton Pompey. Right-hander Brandon Morrow and first baseman Dan Johnson also re-joined the Blue Jays after recovering from their respective injuries.
"I think we were selective," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said despite the high number. "There was a group of guys that were all deserving to be up here, but at some point, you do have to cut it off. It does come down to do you think these guys are going to be able to factor and get playing time? That's where it came down. We made decisions based on who we felt gave us the best chance to win games."
In addition to Norris, Pompey, Morrow and Johnson the Blue Jays recalled second baseman Ryan Goins, outfielder Anthony Gose, left-hander Sean Nolin, right-hander Kendall Graveman and catcher George Kottaras. Outfielder John Mayberry Jr., who was on the DL in Philadelphia, also joined the club following Sunday's trade with the Phillies.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays transferred Brett Lawrie to the 60-day DL and designated outfielder Darin Mastroianni and first baseman Matt Hague for assignment. Right-hander Neil Wagner was also released.
With an additional 10 players on the roster it's going to be a challenge for manager John Gibbons to find enough playing time for everybody, but he said it doesn't really change what the club is doing on a daily basis.
"We're playing our regulars," Gibbons said. "These guys, in the blowouts and stuff like that, they can get in and get their feet wet. Guys had some pretty good years, three of them [Norris, Pompey and Graveman] came all the way from A-ball this year. The guys we brought in here on the pitching side of it, they're here to help us."
The biggest impact will be felt in the bullpen when the Blue Jays added Norris, Nolin, Morrow and Graveman. Norris could be used for an inning or two at a time, Morrow won't pitch on back-to-back days while Nolin and Graveman provide more depth in long relief.
Pompey likely will be limited to pinch-running and an occasional appearance as a defensive replacement. Gose could have a similar role, but he likely will see some playing time in center field vs. left-handed pitching, while Johnson gives the club another left-handed hitter off the bench.
For the most part, they are all very minor roles, but the playing time could expand towards the end of September if the Blue Jays are officially eliminated from a spot in the postseason.
Even if there isn't a big opportunity the overall experience should be valuable to rookies like Norris, Pompey and Graveman, who had yet to make their big league debuts.
"It's always good to get the first out of the way for some of these guys," Gibbons said. "Some of these guys could factor into the team next year, you never know, so they can get that out of the way. We'll pick our spots, but our regulars are the priority."