2/5/2013 10:45 P.M. ET
Janssen retains job as Blue Jays' closer
By Chris Toman / Special to MLB.com
TORONTO -- Provided health is not an issue, there will be no battle for the Blue Jays' closer's job this Spring Training.
Manager John Gibbons announced during the team's State of the Franchise event that Casey Janssen, who saved a career-high 22 games for Toronto last season, will be the team's ninth-inning man.
There was thought that Janssen would face competition from right-hander Sergio Santos, who opened 2012 as the club's closer before being lost for the season with a shoulder injury after just six appearances. But Gibbons decided to steer clear of controversy by rewarding Janssen with the job based on his success last year, which included posting a 2.54 ERA and 0.86 WHIP over 63 2/3 innings.
"We'll go with Casey -- he is coming off a great year," Gibbons said. "Sergio missed the whole year, and that's big in this case. Especially a guy with the experience level he has. He's only been pitching for a couple of years.
"Casey gets the nod, and he deserves it."
Santos, a converted shortstop, was the Blue Jays' prized acquisition last offseason after saving 30 games for the White Sox in 2011, but he required season-ending surgery. Janssen, meanwhile, had right shoulder surgery in November to repair lingering soreness in his acromioclavicular joint.
Both pitchers are expected to be ready for the start of Spring Training.
Blue Jays set rotation around No. 1 Dickey
TORONTO -- Manager John Gibbons unveiled the order of his newly revamped rotation at the Blue Jays' annual State of the Franchise event at Rogers Centre on Tuesday night.
As expected, reigning National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, whom the Blue Jays acquired from the Mets in a seven-player trade in December, will get the ball Opening Day, April 2, at home against Cleveland.
Following Dickey will be right-hander Brandon Morrow, lefty Mark Buehrle, righty Josh Johnson and southpaw Ricky Romero, who was Toronto's Opening Day starter in 2012.
It was assumed that Dickey would be tabbed as the No. 1 starter, with Romero slotted fifth, but the middle part of the rotation was a bit of a mystery. Not only will the Blue Jays split up their lefties and righties, but the club will also strategically position the rotation's various styles.
Dickey is a knuckleballer, while Morrow and Johnson, the team's power arms, will be separated by the soft-tossing Buehrle.
Blue Jays GM isn't concerned with Melky
TORONTO -- General manager Alex Anthopoulos has no concerns regarding outfielder Melky Cabrera, who last week was linked to a clinic in Miami that allegedly supplied a number of Major League players with performance-enhancing drugs.
The report in the Miami New Times listed Cabrera, who tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone last season and served a 50-game suspension, among other players as clients of Biogenesis, a clinic that has reportedly distributed PEDs to a number of Major Leaguers over the last few years.
Anthopoulos believes there will be no further discipline levied against Cabrera despite the findings in the paper, which trace Cabrera's involvement with the clinic back to 2009.
"It's not news for us. With a report like that, the concern for any club, I would say, is if there was a player that hadn't had any suspensions and that it was a new name," Anthopoulos said. "From that standpoint, it's exactly the same as what we knew before we signed him.
"He served his suspension, we did our work, and I don't expect any changes."
Anthopoulos said he has not spoken to Cabrera or MLB officials regarding the allegations.
The Blue Jays signed Cabrera to a two-year, $16 million deal in the offseason to be the club's starting left fielder and hit out of the two-hole, behind newly acquired leadoff man Jose Reyes.
Before his suspension, Cabrera, 28, led the National League with a .346 batting average and finished the season with career highs in on-base percentage (.390), slugging (.516) and OPS (.906).
• While nothing will be finalized until some point in Spring Training, it appears Maicer Izturis has the lead over Emilio Bonifacio to be the club's Opening Day starting second baseman, while Henry Blanco is the front-runner to become the backup catcher to J.P. Arencibia.
Manager John Gibbons said Izturis has the edge, and it seems that Blanco, who was signed to a non-guaranteed Minor League deal, does as well. Blanco will face competition from Josh Thole, who was acquired from the Mets in the R.A. Dickey deal, but Thole has options left, meaning he can start the season in the Minor Leagues without being exposed to waivers.
Chris Toman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.