Buffalo Bisons Roster Review

They may have lost two of their top players just days before the season started, but the Buffalo Bisons could be the jewel of the Blue Jays farm system this season.

The Bisons will receive several players who have won a pair of championship rings over the past two seasons, highlighted by SS Bo Bichette and 1B/2B/OF Cavan Biggio.  3B Vladimir Guerrero, who starts the season on the IL, will likely join them at some point soon, but probably only as the last stop on his rehabbing way to the majors.

Pitching should be the Bisons’ strength, with a solid rotation including Jacob Waguespack, Sean Reid-Foley,  David Paulino, and Jordan Romano, who returns to the organization after being selected by the White Sox (then dealt to the Rangers) in the Rule 5 draft.  The bullpen should be solid as well, with Danny Barnes looking to return to MLB, along with Justin Shafer.  Zach Jackson, Corey Copping, Danny Young, and Dusty Isaacs move up from New Hampshire’s lockdown bullpen.

With Anthony Alford called up to Toronto this week, Buffalo’s already thin OF will feature Roemon Fields, joined by the versatile Andrew Guillotte, and Jordan Patterson, who came over from the Reds last week.  Biggio should spend some time in the OF as well.

Bichette will be joined by New Hampshire teammate Gunnar Heidt in the infield, along with Eric Sogard, and Andy Burns, who returns to the organization after a pair of seasons in Korea.

Reese McGuire will handle the bulk of the Catching duties, backed up by Pat Cantwell, who was a pleasant surprise after joining the system in New Hampshire last year.

Bobby Meacham returns to manage the Bisons.  Hats off to the city of Buffalo, which is celebrating 135 years of pro baseball in the city this year.

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And of course, one of the hazards of writing about a AAA roster that is that it is subject to rapid change.  About an hour after hitting the publish button, the Blue Jays sent Anthony Alford back to the Bisons, along with Reid-Foley, who it was reasonable to assume was going back, anyway.

And a pair of 1st rounders, Jon Harris (2015), and TJ Zeuch (2016) are conspicuous by their absence from the Buffalo roster.  Harris, who pitched well in spurts last year, hasn’t met expectations by his own admission, and was left off the 40-man last year.  Zeuch was a mainstay in two championship rotations in as many years.  Zeuch was expected to move up to AAA, while Harris was a borderline candidate.  Both are still in Florida, and on the 7-day IL.  The Blue Jays have indicated that Harris was shut down due to minor shoulder discomfort this spring, and is expected to pitch again soon.  We’re still waiting for word on Zeuch, but expect it’s a similar scenario.

All those moves do is enhance the Bisons lineup.  For now.

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