Recent history repeated itself with Blue Jays' infield

Lawrie's health, uncertainty at second base marked 2014 campaign

Recent history repeated itself with Blue Jays' infield

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' infield was a concern in 2013, and not much changed this year as the club struggled to take away hits from the opposition and wasn't able to provide a much-needed security blanket for the pitching staff.

In a lot of ways, the performance of Toronto's infield mirrored the results from a year ago. Brett Lawrie got hurt again, and a lack of long-term options meant there was a revolving door at second base for the second consecutive season.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Buehrle a Gold Glove finalist for Blue Jays

Buehrle a Gold Glove finalist for Blue Jays

TORONTO -- Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle has been named a finalist for a 2014 Rawlings American League Gold Glove Award.

Buehrle was a four-time recipient of the award from 2009-12. He also was a finalist in '13 but lost to teammate R.A. Dickey.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Expectations of Blue Jays' bullpen left unmet

What was supposed to be strength in 2014 never got on track consistently

Expectations of Blue Jays' bullpen left unmet

TORONTO -- The performance of relievers is notoriously hard to predict from year to year, and the Blue Jays found that out the hard way in 2014.

The bullpen was expected to be a strength, but instead, it turned into a major weakness. Injuries played a small factor, but a number of quality arms never found a way to get on track.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Prospect Ochinko drives in five runs in AFL

Toronto's catcher homers in eighth to put Mesa ahead of Surprise

Prospect Ochinko drives in five runs in AFL

MESA -- With rosters comprised of players from multiple organizations, it's not always easy for teams to bond in the short season that is the Arizona Fall League.

However, after a 5-3 victory over Surprise on Friday, the Mesa Solar Sox have won three in a row and are starting to hit their stride.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rotation a strength with young stars, vet leadership

Toronto hopes Stroman can duplicate 2014, Hutchison can find consistency

Rotation a strength with young stars, vet leadership

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' starting rotation entered the 2014 season with plenty of question marks, but it actually finished up as a surprising strength.

The starting five was arguably the one area of Toronto's roster that exceeded expectations. The goal of adding two pitchers during the offseason never materialized, but the emergence of some young arms and overall health helped compensate for the lack of depth.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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TBT 1993: Watch Joe Carter touch 'em all

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TBT 1993: Watch Joe Carter touch 'em all

Let's set the scene ...

21 years ago today, the defending world champion Blue Jays were playing the Phillies in Game 6 of the World Series. Toronto was up 3 games to 2, but down 6-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. That's when things started to happen.

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Diaz gets Minor League deal, Spring Training invite

Middle infielder briefly filled in for injured Reyes in 2014

Diaz gets Minor League deal, Spring Training invite

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays re-signed infielder Jonathan Diaz to a Minor League contract on Wednesday afternoon with an invitation to Spring Training.

Diaz signed a similar deal with Toronto prior to the 2014 season, and he went on to appear in 23 games for the Blue Jays. He hit .158 (6-for-38) with a double and four RBIs.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Beloved vendor 'Ralph the Program Guy' passes away

Fixture at countless Toronto events suffered a stroke in July

Beloved vendor 'Ralph the Program Guy' passes away

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' community lost one of its most unique and charismatic personalities this week with the passing of Ralphael Platner.

The name might not ring a bell to a lot of Toronto fans, but the face probably does. "Ralph the Program Guy" had been a fixture at sporting events and concerts in the city since the 1960s and rarely missed a big day.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Inbox: Will Toronto trade Buehrle or Dickey?

Blue Jays beat reporter Chisholm answers fans' questions

Inbox: Will Toronto trade Buehrle or Dickey?

Do you expect Mark Buehrle or R.A. Dickey to be traded this winter?
-- Ryan E., Barrie, Ontario

There has been a lot of speculation about this over the past several months, but I have a hard time envisioning a scenario where both pitchers don't return in 2015. Teams will inquire and the Blue Jays will probably listen, but an awful lot would have to fall in place for a deal to get done.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Top prospect Norris has arthroscopic surgery

Left-hander expected to be ready for Spring Training

Top prospect Norris has arthroscopic surgery

TORONTO -- Blue Jays left-hander Daniel Norris underwent arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday morning to remove bone spurs and loose bodies from his left elbow.

The procedure was performed by Dr. David Altchek in New York City. The recovery time is approximately six weeks, and Norris should be ready for the start of Spring Training in February.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Right-hander Schultz claimed on waivers from D-backs

Blue Jays add 29-year-old rookie to 40-man roster

Right-hander Schultz claimed on waivers from D-backs

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays claimed right-hander Bo Schultz off waivers from the D-backs on Tuesday afternoon.

Schultz made his Major League debut in 2014 and allowed seven runs over eight innings out of the bullpen. He also appeared in 28 games -- 24 starts -- for Triple-A Reno in the Pacific Coast League and went 10-8 with a 6.18 ERA.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Kawasaki, Johnson, Kottaras outrighted to Triple-A

Kawasaki, Johnson, Kottaras outrighted to Triple-A

The Blue Jays outrighted three players -- Munenori Kawasaki, Dan Johnson and George Kottaras -- to Triple-A on Friday, and Johnson and Kottaras have both elected free agency.

The decision to outright Kawasaki off the 40-man roster was a mere formality because of a clause in his contract that allowed him to become a free agent at the end of the season.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. Joey Nowak contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Stars of tomorrow ready to shine as '14 AFL season begins

Stars of tomorrow ready to shine as '14 AFL season begins

Over its 23-year history, the Arizona Fall League has developed a reputation as a finishing school for baseball's top prospects. This year, once again, many of the game's best young players will gather in the desert, hoping to prove themselves in the same league that helped catapult Derek Jeter, Dustin Pedroia and Mike Trout to stardom.

When the AFL opens play Tuesday, the concentration of talent will again be readily apparent. Two of the three Opening Day games feature premium pitching matchups, and the third game is highlighted by two of the best shortstops in the Minor Leagues.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Prospect Alford no longer playing football

Prospect Alford no longer playing football

Blue Jays outfield prospect Anthony Alford has decided to stop playing football and will pursue a career in baseball on a full-time basis.

Alford was taken in the third round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. At the time, he was viewed as a first-round talent but his stock dropped because of his stated preference to continue playing football.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Blue Jays couldn't sustain fast start to season

Drought reaches 21 years as capable club can't find winning formula

Blue Jays couldn't sustain fast start to season

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' 2014 season had plenty of highs and lows, but more than anything, it will be remembered for the golden opportunity that got away.

Toronto sat atop the American League East throughout June and early July for the first time since 1993. It seemed almost like a foregone conclusion that the Blue Jays would finally put an end to a decades-long drought without postseason baseball.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Blue Jays to focus on outfield, 'pen to build for 2015

GM Anthopoulos will try to balance payroll in bid to lock down Melky

Blue Jays to focus on outfield, 'pen to build for 2015

TORONTO -- Alex Anthopoulos is about to embark on arguably the most difficult -- and easily the most important -- offseason of his tenure as the Blue Jays general manager.

In the coming weeks, Toronto will face some very tough decisions on pending free agents and players with club options. It will be about finding the right balance between performance and value on a team that might not be able to add a lot of payroll.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Dickey absorbs a hard-luck loss in season finale

Veteran knuckleballer allows only a solo shot over six innings of work

Dickey absorbs a hard-luck loss in season finale

TORONTO -- One run was all it took to disrupt the Blue Jays' hopes of securing a series sweep of the Orioles on the last day of the regular season on Sunday at Rogers Centre.

R.A. Dickey pitched six strong innings and allowed only two hits before a packed house at Rogers Centre. But a solo homer by O's second baseman Jonathan Schoop proved to be enough to down the Blue Jays, 1-0.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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GM thinks Blue Jays are on the cusp of success

Anthopoulos discusses state of the team at year-end news conference

GM thinks Blue Jays are on the cusp of success

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays put the finishing touches on a disappointing season on Sunday afternoon, but the message general manager Alex Anthopoulos wants everybody to hear is that "we're close."

In his final news conference of the season, Anthopoulos didn't shy away from the fact Toronto didn't to live up to expectations in 2014. The team, which held a six-game lead in the American League East on June 6, didn't find a way to crack the postseason for the first time since 1993. However, Anthopoulos believes there is plenty of hope for the future.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Janssen takes what's likely his final bow in Toronto

Closer is slated to hit free agency after the postseason ends

Janssen takes what's likely his final bow in Toronto

TORONTO -- Casey Janssen's tenure in a Blue Jays uniform likely came to an end on Sunday afternoon. But before he left, there was one final appearance to finish off.

Toronto's closer came out and pitched a clean 1-2-3 ninth inning during a 1-0 loss to the Orioles. Like so many of his previous outings over the course of his eight years in Toronto, Janssen's inning was quick and almost effortless.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Blue Jays plan to stick to contract philosophy

Anthopoulos says the club will not offer deals that last over five years

Blue Jays plan to stick to contract philosophy

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays could be making a lot of adjustments this offseason, but one thing that won't change is the club's policy of not offering contracts that span more than five years.

General manager Alex Anthopoulos confirmed on Sunday afternoon the Blue Jays won't be in the market for any free agents that require at least six seasons on a deal. During the tenure of Anthopoulos and president Paul Beeston, the Blue Jays have never gone beyond five guaranteed years with any player. That stance isn't going to change any time soon.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Blue Jays claim Burns; recall Hague

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays claimed right-hander Cory Burns off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday. They also selected the contract of first baseman Matt Hague from Triple-A Buffalo.

The 26-year-old Burns appeared in 43 games this season for Triple-A Round Rock, Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham. He's played in 27 career big league contests, posting a 1-1 record with a 4.60 ERA in games with San Diego and Texas.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Gibbons eyes ending October drought in '15

Gibbons eyes ending October drought in '15

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays now own the dubious honor of being the team with the longest postseason drought in Major League Baseball.

Kansas City possessed the longest skid until it officially clinched a spot in the postseason for the first time since 1985 on Friday night. Toronto's last appearance in October baseball occurred when the Blue Jays put the finishing touches on back-to-back World Series championships in 1993.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Blue Jays' Norris on MLB Pipeline All-Prospect Team

Sluggers Bryant and Gallo make the cut, as do pairs of Dodgers, Nationals and Red Sox

Blue Jays' Norris on MLB Pipeline All-Prospect Team

Last week, MLBPipeline.com handed out year-end awards for top hitting and pitching prospects. As much as Kris Bryant and Tyler Glasnow were deserving recipients, it was clear there were many other fantastic performances in 2014 that deserved some attention.

With that in mind, MLBPipeline.com announced its 2014 All-Prospect Team on Friday. There's a prospect for each position, including three outfielders, a DH, a right-handed and left-handed starting pitcher and one reliever. The only requirements were that a player appeared at some point on a team's Top 20 list on Prospect Watch and spent the majority of the year in the Minor Leagues.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Happ stymies O's to cap strong second half

Veteran finishes with an 11-11 record after overcoming early adversity

Happ stymies O's to cap strong second half

TORONTO -- J.A. Happ's season may have started on a sour note, but it ended on a positive one on Saturday against the Orioles.

Happ pitched at least six innings for the seventh straight game, holding the Orioles to a pair of runs on four hits over 6 1/3 frames, as the Blue Jays topped Baltimore, 4-2, at Rogers Centre.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Blue Jays win crew-chief review

Blue Jays win crew-chief review

TORONTO -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons won a crew-chief review in the seventh inning, as the Blue Jays were provided with a valuable insurance run during Saturday afternoon's game against the Orioles.

The play in question took place when Kevin Pillar attempted to score from third base on a fly ball to Adam Jones. Baltimore's center fielder made an almost perfect throw to the plate and home-plate umpire Jim Wolf called Pillar out after a head-first slide.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Pompey stars with incredible all-around performance

Blue Jays' No. 3 prospect triples twice, doubles and makes great diving catch

Pompey stars with incredible all-around performance

TORONTO -- Dalton Pompey stole the show in the Blue Jays' win over the Orioles on Friday, combining stellar defense with an outstanding night at the plate to bring his hometown crowd to its feet.

The rookie outfielder make an outstretched diving catch down the left-field line in the second inning and went on to go 3-for-4 with a pair of triples, a double and two RBIs to pace the Blue Jays as they topped the Orioles, 4-2. The triples were Pompey's first in the Majors, as was his third-inning two-bagger.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Hutchison ends on high note to open final series

Pompey stars at plate, on D with three extra-base hits, diving catch

Hutchison ends on high note to open final series

TORONTO -- When Drew Hutchison arrived at Spring Training earlier this year, the biggest question was whether he could pitch a full season. Eight months later, the answer is a definitive yes.

There were plenty of concerns about Hutchison back in February, because he was expected to be an integral part of the rotation yet was coming off a missed season following Tommy John surgery. In the end, none of that mattered as Hutchison closed the door on a successful season in a 4-2 victory over the Orioles on Friday night.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Bullpen can't follow up solid Norris in loss to Seattle

Lefty works 3 1/3 innings in first MLB start before 'pen allows three HRs

Bullpen can't follow up solid Norris in loss to Seattle

TORONTO -- Daniel Norris hasn't been at the top of his game since being called up earlier this month, but it's the overall experience rather than the final results that should pay dividends down the road.

Toronto's top prospect made his Major League starting debut on Thursday afternoon at Rogers Centre, and while the mid-90s fastball wasn't there, he was able to survive. That's how his first month in the big leagues has gone, but there's little doubt that experiences like a 7-5 loss to Seattle will provide a greater comfort level next season.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Blue Jays TV announcers receive new five-year deals

Martinez, Tabler have been calling games together on Sportsnet since 2010

Blue Jays TV announcers receive new five-year deals

TORONTO -- Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler have signed five-year contracts to remain in their roles as television broadcasters for the Blue Jays.

Sportsnet, which owns the rights to all of Toronto's regular-season games, announced the deals on Thursday afternoon. Martinez will continue his play-by-play responsibilities, while Tabler will remain in his role as a color analyst.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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