Gose knows time will come in Toronto, just not yet

Young outfielder enjoying strong spring, but no open spots on stacked roster

Gose knows time will come in Toronto, just not yet

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- So far this spring, Anthony Gose is doing everything he can to prove he should be on the Blue Jays' Opening Day roster.

Unfortunately for the outfielder, he won't be.

After watching his team acquire a highly talented group of new faces this offseason through trades and free agency, Gose will almost certainly be heading to Buffalo next month, sporting a Triple-A Bisons jersey.

For someone who's already tasted the big leagues, playing a third of the season for Toronto last year, it's a tough pill to swallow.

"I kind of had a sense where I'd be heading when everything happened, all the trades and signings," said Gose, who learned of his fate through a conversation with Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos in January. "It was tough then, but the closer spring got and the more time that had passed, I kind of got over it and I've come to terms with that in my own head."

Last season, Gose racked up 37 hits, 11 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 56 games with the big league club. He also struck out 59 times in 166 at-bats.

Through parts of 11 games so far this spring, Gose is hitting .367 with a .457 on-base percentage. He has 11 hits, two RBIs, five walks, five stolen bases and eight strikeouts.

Although he's playing the way he wanted to when he arrived at camp last month, Gose is more concerned with maintaining that level of consistency once the season starts than he is with Spring Training stats.

"I'm just showing them that, hopefully, I can play at the next level and be consistent, but it's just Spring Training," the 22-year-old said. "We're facing guys who just want to get their work done and get in shape.

"I feel good about [my numbers] and, hopefully, I can carry it over into the season in Triple-A and earn a callup then. But right now, I'm not reading too much into these numbers and I'm sure the organization isn't either."

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, however, begs to differ.

"He's had a great spring, arguably the MVP of the team," Gibbons said. "He's on a mission. He wants to be in the big leagues, and he may deserve to be in the big leagues, but that's probably not the way it's going to start because we have the other guys."

As someone who spent just 18 games in a big league uniform during his own career before being sent back down for good, Gibbons knows what Gose is going through.

"I've managed that level and I've been that guy," Gibbons said. "When you think you belong in the big leagues and your heart tells you you do and you're not there, you really have to fight yourself mentally and not give into it.

"The thing about baseball is, if you don't have that mental edge and you're not mentally tough and you're wavering there, your game suffers big time. It's the one sport where your mind controls basically everything."

Though Gibbons doesn't see Gose as a piece of the Blue Jays puzzle right away, that will more than likely change down the road. According to the Jays manager, all it will take is a bit of patience on Gose's end.

"His day is coming," Gibbons said. "He's going to have a long Major League career, and he's going to be one of the better players in the game. ... A lot of the time you get those young guys, and the only thing they lack is patience. They want to be there, and sometimes they deserve to be there but their time is just not right.

"Knowing his personality, he's a driven kid and he'll be fine."

Melissa Couto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.