08/29/12 1:10 PM ET
Opening exists for Sierra to impress Blue Jays
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
Sierra has been arguably the Blue Jays' most impressive rookie this year, and with a potential vacancy in left field next season, the final month of the year will serve as an extended audition for that role.
The 23-year-old Sierra has made the most of his opportunity so far, hitting .294 with a pair of home runs and five RBIs in 22 games entering Wednesday's series finale in New York. While other rookies like Anthony Gose have appeared overmatched at times, it's Sierra who has suddenly jumped up the club's depth chart.
"He has done a good job [with] his bat path staying in the strike zone," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said Wednesday. "He's been able to handle fastballs and breaking balls, as he did last night against [Phil] Hughes."
Farrell's also been impressed with the way Sierra has handled right field during Bautista's absence. There's still plenty of work to be done with the accuracy of his throws from the corner-outfield spot, and at times he has appeared a little too aggressive around the wall, but overall Farrell has come away with glowing reviews.
"His routes in right field have been very good, and not just with routine type of plays," Farrell said. "There have been some line drives, even in this series, that have been hit right at him that have tailed toward the line, where he has made an adjustment going for some fly balls. He has done a very good job."
McCoy becoming favorite of Farrell with recent play
NEW YORK -- Mike McCoy's opportunities have been few and far between this season, but he's making the most of his latest stint in the big leagues.
The 31-year-old veteran has appeared in just 21 games at the big league level this year, but he has earned a spot on the roster for the final five weeks of the season thanks to his recent play.
Whether it was a heads-up baserunning play to secure a victory in New York on Monday night, or a diving play up the middle the following day to save a run, McCoy has become a favorite of manager John Farrell.
"His value shows up even more now that we're carrying the extra reliever, with the ability to play both the outfield and infield," Farrell said. "He's going to get more exposure and more opportunity when guys are needing a break and certain matchups might exist. The versatility is an asset, there's no doubt.
"The offensive numbers might not tell the whole story, it's some small smaller parts of the game that really show through."
McCoy has appeared at every position for the Blue Jays during the past two years except for catcher and first base. He entered play on Wednesday hitting just .211 with one home run and six RBIs, but he provides invaluable flexibility off the bench.
With rosters expanding on Saturday, McCoy is no longer in danger of being optioned back to the Minor Leagues. That's welcome news for Toronto's most frequent flyer, who has been sent back to Triple-A Las Vegas on 10 occasions over the past two years.
Center fielder Colby Rasmus received the day off on Wednesday afternoon with tough left-hander CC Sabathia on the mound for New York. Rasmus was mired in a 2-for-41 slump earlier this week until he helped propel the Blue Jays to victory on Monday night with a three-run homer off Yankees closer Rafael Soriano.
The Blue Jays entered play on Wednesday with a .240 (6-19) winning percentage during the month of August. That will go down as the third-worst record of any month in club history, beaten only September 1978 (.160, 4-21) and May 1979 (.179, 5-23).