Goins: Going, going gone

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ryan goins

 * The Blue Jays kept Liam Hendriks over INF Ryan Goins giving them three long men in the bullpen. ….

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Letters of Intent

By Bob Elliott
MONTREAL _ The 25-man roster of Your Toronto Blue Jays has taken shape.

For now.

Infielder Ryan Goins, who has options remaining, was sent to triple-A Buffalo.

Liam Hendriks, who does not, boarded the charter at Dorval for New York and opening day Monday afternoon against the New York Yankees.

Hendriks got his hair cut Friday afternoon by a barber at Olympic Stadium and then managed to survive Saturday’s cut.

So, the Jays have shown enough confidence in their young pitchers to go with both Daniel Norris and Aaron Sanchez in the rotation.

They have shown so much confidence that they have three long men in the bullpen in Marco Estrada, Todd Redmond and Hendriks.

You have to love the Jays 3-4-5 slug fest of Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson.

How much did you like Dalton Pompey, who hit sixth, followed by Justin Smoak, Kevin Pillar and Devon Travis on Friday night? They were a combined 1-for-11.

Dioner Navarro hit sixth on Saturday followed by Pompey, Pillar and Travis. They went 5-for-11.

Word is that the Jays hope to sneak Hendricks through waivers — like maybe the other 29 emails will go down at the same time — recalling Goins to give the Jays a four-man bench.

Right now the bench consists of Danny Valenica, Steve Tolleson and Navarro.

Remember all that winter-talk about taking care of shortstop Jose Reyes this season?

Giving him more rest?

If the Jays need a shortstop to give Reyes a night off their man is …?

Tolleson.

If the Jays need a shortstop after one at-bat which was the case when Reyes was injured last year at Tropicana Field leading off the game …?

The answer is Tolleson.

Tolleson has made five starts at short — none since 2010.

Right now the Jays fourth outfielder is …?

Tolleson.

That’s him they are pointing to move from second base.

“No, deeper.

“Deeper still.”

In 163 games in the majors, Tolleson, an infielder by birth, has played 76 innings in the outfield.

The next fly ball he catches will be his 22nd.

Tolleson was an infielder with the South Carolina Gameocks, an infielder his first three years with the Minnesota Twins and did not step into the outfield, except for a relay, until double-A New Britain in 2008. After that, playing in the San Diego Padres, Oakland A’s, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox and the Jays organization his high water mark was 32 games at New Britain and triple-A Rochester. Of his 889 games in the minors he’s played in 13.7% of the games in the outfield.

This is not to pick on Tolleson. He’s a fine young man, a fine utility infielder to play either second or third.

This opening day roster has flaws and not the kind you expect to see from a contender.

Check out some other rosters of teams hoping to win a wild-card berth.

See how many have six rookies, and it’s a balanced attack the Jays have — two in the every day lineup in second baseman Travis and centre fielder Pompey, two in the bullpen in Miguel Castro and Roberto Osuna and two in the rotation with Norris and Sanchez.

See how many teams have seven players under the age of 25 expected to play key roles: Castro and Osuna are 20, Norris is 21, Sanchez and Pompey are 22 while Drew Hutchison and Travis are 24.

Hutchison has the least amount career starts since Todd Stottlemyre started opening day in 1990.

Castro has pitched 30 innings above class-A Vancouver, Osuna has worked 64 1/3 innings the past two seasons above Vancouver.

The Who had a hit song entitled The Kids Are Alright.

They had best be.

Opening day roster then and now

2015
Rotation:Drew Hutchison, R.A. Dickey, Daniel Norris, Mark Buehrle, Aaron Sanchez.
Relievers:Aaron Loup, Marco Estrada, Todd Redmond, Miguel Castro, Roberto Osuna, Colt Hynes, Liam Hendriks.
Closer: Brett Cecil.

Catcher:Russell Martin.

Infielders: 1B Justin Smoak, 2B Devon Travis, 3B Josh Donaldson, SS Jose Reyes.
Outfielders: LF Kevin Pillar, CF Dalton Pompey, RF Jose Bautista.
Bench: INF Danny Valencia, INF-OF Steve Tolleson, C Dioner Navarro.

DH:Edwin Encarnacion.
DL: OF Michael Saunders, INF Maicer Izturis, LHP Johan Santana, RHP Marcus Stroman.

2014
Rotation: Dickey, Hutchison, Buehrle, Brandon Morrow, Dustin McGowan.
Relievers: Cecil, Steve Delabar, Jeremy Jeffress, Loup, Esmil Rogers, Redmond.
Closer: Sergio Santos.

Catcher: Navarro.

Infielders: 1B Encarnacion, 2B Ryan Goins, 3B Brett Lawrie, SS Reyes.
Outfielders: LF Melky Cabrera, CF Colby Rasmus, RF Bautista.
Bench: INF Izturis, C Josh Thole, OF Moises Sierra, C Eric Kratz.

DH:Adam Lind.
DL:J.A. Happ, RP Casey Janssen.

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