Going through Customs, the different currency, and many other subtle day-to-day things are a fact of life for American and Caribbean players who venture north of the border to play for the Blue Jays.
For several years, the Blue Jays have held a January mini-camp at the Rogers Centre for their top minor league players to give them a little more exposure to life in the Great White North. Starting on January 15th, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette, DJ Davis, Reese McGuire, Roemon Fields, newly-acquired Taylor Guerreri, Lourdes Gurriel, Danny Jansen, Jason Leblebijian, Thomas Pannone, Ryan Borucki, Max Pentecost, Sean Reid-Foley, and the GTA’s own Jordan Romano will be in Toronto for a series of on-field drills and off-field seminars. The group will be at the Blue Jays first annual Winter Fest that weekend.
When the announcement was made last week, Twitter instantly was full of rumours about Conner Greene, who was not part of this year’s contingent. The rumours suggested Greene was being held back because he was going to be part of a package of players for Pirates star Andrew McCutchen. As has been pointed out, Greene was part of last year’s tour, as were Rowdy Tellez, Anthony Alford, and Richie Urena. Greene’s command issues were a concern last year, but that 100 mph fastball isn’t going anywhere just yet.
In the off-field sessions, players will receive training in dealing with the media, as well as how to deal with situations that might crop up as professional athletes. It sounds like Romano is excited to have some of his fellow prospects to his paren’t basement:
I’ll teach you how to play @CallofDuty while you’re here😎
— Jordan Romano (@Gordondemand) January 5, 2018
Jansen, McGuire, Urena, Guerreri, and Pannone are all on the 40-man roster, and will be attending spring training with the big club. The team has not announced which minor leaguers will receive an invite, but that it expected shortly.