Q+A with Anthony Gose

The Blue Jays won their 16th game of the Grapefruit League season on Thursday afternoon, which ties their mark from 2011. Prior to the game, I had an opportunity to chat with Blue Jays top prospect Anthony Gose.  Below is a segment of that interview and I’ll have a feature on Gose later today on the main Blue Jays website.

Also on the main site, you can find a notebook with items on Sergio Santos, injury updates on Brett Lawrie and Eric Thames, plus an item on a new batting order. Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter @gregorMLB where I’m also posting daily news and tidbits from around Spring Training.

How much more comfortable are you this season with this now being your second year at the big league camp?

“Any time you can do something over and have a second crack at it you always feel a little more comfortable, a little bit better and a little bit more confident. Last year I didn’t know what to expect in my first big league camp whereas this year I kind of know how things work, know some of the guys being around the second time also know what to expect from the coaches and what they expect from me.”

You’ve gone through a pretty big change with your swing over the past 12 months. How difficult has that process been?

“It was pretty drastic for me at the beginning. I knew I was supposed to swing harder but I didn’t know the mechanics to it, staying behind the ball, driving down, things like that. As time went on it became a little bit more natural and I kept working on it day in and day out. Now I’m feeling really confident with it. Last year I had Justin Mayshore, who is with the Rangers now, and this year I have Murph and Chad.”

I was talking with Tony LaCava about you last week and he mentioned that in 2011 he wasn’t concerned with your overall results, the number of strikeouts, etc. For him it was more about the overall process of the new swing than the actual results. Is it difficult as a player to not worry about that — the results — though?

“Any time you’re a player it’s hard not to focus on the results because you see it instantly. You feel what’s going on so it’s difficult but it’s also reassuring to know that the organization is behind you with everything that’s going on and that they back you. It’s sometimes difficult to deal with the changes from a player standpoint but in the back of my mind you know having guys like Tony and Alex behind you it’s a bit more reassuring.”

How much of a difference have you noticed in your abilities this spring compared to last spring?

“I feel like a whole new person. I feel like everything is coming together and I’m a lot more comfortable, confident, with what I’m doing. So now if I can just keep doing what I’m doing, continue to get better, I feel like I’ll be there hopefully soon. ”

The Blue Jays are letting you bunt again this year — what is that going to do for your overall offensive approach?

“It just adds something else to my game. Instead of an 0-fer night I might be able to scrounge up a hit or instead of going into a longer slump I can just break it with a bunt. Keep myself on base , I have to get on base because that’s my job batting at the top of the lineup, get on base, use my speed, score runs any way possible to help my team.”

Looks like you had a really busy offseason with the Arizona Fall League and Venezuelan Winter League. Did you have any time off at all this offseason?

“I had about three weeks off but it was great because I got to go out to Venezuela and play. That was the most fun baseball I’ve ever had playing in my life, being able to experience that, continue to play and see some better pitching and guys that are going to throw a lot more breaking pitches it was a great experience.”

What was it like working with Sal Fasano last year in Double-A?

“Sal’s a great manager. You can tell by his career, he wouldn’t have been able to play in the big leagues for 15 years if he wasn’t a great guy and knowing the game as well as he does. Having him as our manager last year was unbelieveable. What he brought to the table, in his 15 years in the big leagues, he’s seen everything the game has to offer so having him helping me from what to look for from catchers in regards to stealing bases and base running things in general. What he looked for as a catcher was middle infielders, he would let me know so I can use that to my advantage. Calling games, he’s talked about what catchers might look for, their tendencies, things like that.”


There seems to be a lot of back and forth about Snider vs Thames. I think that it’s a moote point. The starting OF for the Jays in 2013 will be Joey Bats, Rasmus and Gose. I think that is becoming more clear. Let’s count the number of games where Buck and Tabby say: “Ecobar is not a typical leadoff hitter” this season. I’m putting the over/under at 100. I think that at this point the Jays are merely sizing up how to maximize the trade value for Thames and Snider. And I think that they will both have some suiters. I think that having Ben Fransisco around will benefit Thams greatly as they will have similar careers. A #4 and/or platoon OF that will hit 12-15 HR/yr, hit around .275 and drive in 60-75 runs. Great to have in case of injuries, but never really enough to be a starter. Possible trade suiters: Twins, Mets, Reds, Giants, and Brewers. Snider has a higher upside and has the potential to be a starter as he is a plus defender and has some pop upside. Some comparables might be: Russell Branyan or Carlos Pena. He’ll likely bounce around quite a bit. Possible trade suiters are: A’s, Nationals, Cubs, Astros, Braves and Rockies. Gose has the speed and defence to play in the bigs. Once he can get his OBP in line, Snider and Thames will be out of time. Can you hear the clock ticking, gentlemen???

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The best case scenario for the Jays would be for Rasmus to have a fantastic season, raise his trade value up, and then maybe the team could get a usable part in exchange for him, because from all I’ve seen or heard, Gose is going to be major league ready by then, barring injuries. He had some good at bats this spring, even though the stats don’t show that. Once the swing is good to go, he could be a staple with the team for many years to come. I like his attitude, too.

Getting a little worried about Colby Rasmus. I know AA has a high opinion of him, but he has really not been showing very much of anything last year or this spring. What is the likelihood he gets sent down and Gose brought up? Or even slide Thames to CF (since he is faster) and bring Snider back to LF?

Sounds good to me . Gose is awesome !

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