7/9/2014 2:40 A.M. ET
Rasmus gets first taste of platoon role
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Colby Rasmus was held out of the starting lineup on Tuesday night as the Blue Jays followed through on their intention of creating a platoon in center field.
Rasmus is no longer an everyday starter in the outfield, as he'll sit vs. left-handed pitchers. Darin Mastroianni got the start in center against Halos lefty Tyler Skaggs, and that arrangement is expected to continue at least until Rasmus heats up at the plate.
The 27-year-old Rasmus is hitting .193 with three homers, eight RBIs and a .656 OPS in 18 games since returning from the disabled list. Overall, he has a .167 average and .619 OPS against lefties this season.
"It's different than what I've been in before, as far as being platooned," Rasmus said. "I'm just going to look at it [like] they're trying to help me in some weird kind of way. They're trying to help me, so I'm going to do my best to hang with it, pinch-hit, run or whatever I have to do."
A new low for Rasmus likely came during Monday night's series opener when he was lifted from the game for pinch-hitter Mastroianni in the seventh inning. Toronto manager John Gibbons made the move knowing that the Angels would replace left-hander Joe Thatcher with right-hander Jason Grilli.
That essentially meant Gibbons preferred the light-hitting Mastroianni vs. Grilli to Rasmus against Thatcher. It was a rather surprising move even though it came on the same day that Gibbons announced the club would be shifting to a platoon in center.
"Well, you knew they had us either way," Gibbons said rather bluntly. "So they forced our hand. They got us any way we want to go there."
The only way Rasmus will be able to get himself out of this current platoon is to start hitting better. That becomes a little more difficult without everyday at-bats, but he's also the type of streaky player who can get hot and carry a team offensively.
Rasmus also will need to see an uptick in his production to avoid having his overall value drop before he hits free agency at the end of the season. He could be in line for a rather large payday, but the current numbers and the fact he's now stuck in a platoon aren't doing him any favors.
"That's not really my main concern," Rasmus said of the upcoming offseason. "My main concern is just getting back to playing. Not necessarily trying to prove anything, not prove to anybody that I have to do anything. Just to come in, do what I have to do, play baseball, have fun, enjoy my family, and that'll be it. I'm not going to let whatever's going on, put stress on me. Whenever they want me to play, I'll play."
Gillespie lands on DL; Kratz rejoins Toronto
ANAHEIM -- Blue Jays outfielder Cole Gillespie was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique injury following Tuesday night's 4-0 victory over the Angels.
Gillespie appeared in one game with Toronto after being claimed off waivers from the Mariners last week. He originally suffered the injury in Seattle but aggravated it while hitting in the cage Monday afternoon.
Toronto recalled catcher Erik Kratz from Triple-A Buffalo to take Gillespie's spot on the 25-man roster. The addition of Kratz had been talked about for the past several days with manager John Gibbons suggesting on Monday that he would be a "big addition" to the squad.
Kratz had a lengthy stint with the Blue Jays earlier this season. He'll likely start either behind the plate or at DH when Adam Lind sits vs left-handed pitchers. Kratz had three homers and 10 RBIs while appearing in 30 games for the Blue Jays.
Gillespie was added to play right field until Jose Bautista's hamstring is fully recovered. That plan changed within 24 hours, though, as the Blue Jays went on to claim outfielder Nolan Reimold. That left Gillespie without a defined role, but he was scheduled to receive some occasional starts at DH.
That role appears better suited to Kratz. The 34-year-old is an asset at the plate vs lefties and is the best defensive catcher the Blue Jays have. He'll split time with Dioner Navarro and Josh Thole in a three-catcher system.
Ontario teacher to rep Blue Jays at All-Star Game
ANAHEIM -- Rolland Chidiac has been named the Blue Jays' representative in the "Target Presents PEOPLE All-Star Teachers" campaign, which celebrates remarkable current and retired educators who make an impact on the lives of their students and communities.
One representative from each club will be included in the All-Star Week festivities and recognized during the pregame ceremony of Tuesday's Midsummer Classic in Minnesota.
Chidiac, of Kitchener, Ont., is a second-generation Canadian who grew up learning English as a second language. He has worked for anti-bullying efforts and has received best practice awards from his teachers association, a school staff recognition award and a teacher of excellence award.
Chidiac also is a team leader of the Ministry of Education's Teacher Learning and Leadership program, which provided funding to help him meet the needs of all his students with the use of technology.
You can find the full list of Chidiac's esteemed colleagues at AllStarTeachers.com.
The All-Star Teachers program has been just one part of an effort by Target, MLB and People to celebrate teachers and raise awareness about the importance of education this baseball season. MLB legends have attended 14 Target education-focused events in MLB communities throughout this season, and the list has included Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, Vinny Castilla, Ron Cey, Cliff Floyd, Luis Gonzalez, Tim Laudner, Gary Matthews, Tony Oliva, Harold Reynolds, Michael Young, Edgar Martinez, Tim Wakefield, Mickey Lolich, Willie Horton, Chad Tracy and John Smoltz. Refer to AllStarTeachers.com and ABullsEyeView.com/Baseball to see examples.