Gosuke Katoh finally gets his shot in the big league with the Blue Jays

Lakeland, Fla. – On Monday afternoon, Charlie Montoya visited Gosuke Katoh at the Clubhouse visiting the Joker Merchant Stadium. The Blue Jays game against the Detroit Tigers ended five or ten minutes ago, and the 27-year-old utility player didn’t expect anything when he saw his manager move forward unabated.

“Congratulations,” Montoya said.

“Congratulations for what?” Katoh answers.

“You made the team.”

Kato couldn’t believe it. She thought Monteiro was messing with her. But it was true. Now entering its 10th season in professional baseball, Katah will finally have the opportunity to play in the Major League for the first time. He defeated Greg Bird, another former Yankees prospect, to get a seat on the Blue Jays bench.

“It’s been a lot of hard work, and it’s been an emotional day for me,” he told SportsNet outside the Blue Jays’ Clubhouse in Lakeland. “It simply came to our notice then. It’s the whole world to me. “

As Katoh received congratulations from his teammates, he thought about his time in Charleston in 2015 at Lowe. At the time, he was a high-profile second-round pick for the Yankees, but he didn’t live up to his potential, batting only .161 with a .466 OPS. At the time, he considered withdrawing from the game, but on Monday he was grateful that he did not.

“Lots of sleepless nights,” he recalls. “I would like to thank Gosuke (version) from behind 2014 and ’15. I thought of leaving but kept going and that is why I am here. So there are a lot of people I want to thank. I am a product of thousands of people who have helped me throughout my career and from T-Ball to this great staff at Blue Jess, I have been able to work with over the last five to six weeks. And I want them all here, right behind me now. But I’m sure they’re watching and I hope they’re smiling. “

A left-handed hitter, Katoh has versatility to play first, second, third, left and right. He is not a power hitter, with only 19 home runs in 197 career games at Triple-A, but his bat-to-ball skills and plate discipline are evident in his lifetime. 294 Average and .385 Maximum level of percentage based on minors.

“I’ve always wanted to be a big league,” said Katoh. “But more than that I always wanted to win the World Series.”

Despite a strong push for a spot on the Blue Jays bench, Bird was released earlier in the day. He practiced an out clause in his contract that he would not be added to the team’s 40-man roster and he is now a free agent.

Bird still has a chance to re-sign with Blue Jays, as he believes he has enjoyed his brief stance with the company. At the same time, other teams may be interested in the 29-year-old after a strong spring where he hit two home runs and posted .958 OPS in 11 games.

On Sunday, the acquisition of catcher Jack Collins for Reese McGuire changed the color of the team bench. A left-handed hitter, Collins was acquired for his bat, which the Blue Jays believe is promising despite the irresistible results against Big-League pitching.

“He swings the bat. He’s a good hitter, “said manager Charlie Montoya. “She would be the third catcher if we go with it.”

Collins has been in Charlotte during the trade since the team played there in the Chicago Triple, but he has since moved south to Dunedin and will be at the Blue Jays camp when they play their last game of the spring on Tuesday. The Blue Jays have until Thursday afternoon to finalize their roster, but at the moment Collins is in a good position to break camp with his new team.

Meanwhile, Kevin Gaussman pitched in the Grapefruit League game for the first and only time of the spring, throwing 68 pitches in six effective innings during which he mixed his fastball and splitter. Subsequently, he threw 15 more pitches into the bullpen to replicate another innings of work and make his pitch count.

Manager Charlie Montoya added, “I am very pleased with what I have seen.” “She looked really good.”

“The biggest thing for spring is getting well,” Gaussman later added. “And so to get those five of your rolling guys healthy through the spring, you know, all of their bullpen guys got healthy, so it’s huge. Position players, no one took the heater or anything like that out of their hands. So we are really lucky. “

Net Pearson (non-covid illness) will not break camp with the Blue Jays while Ryan Boruki (hamstring) is doubtful for the season opener. Otherwise, Blue Jess is healthy and interested in what will happen next.

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