Jays Want Gose To Put Wheels To Use

TORONTO — The next phase in the development of Anthony Gose is to have him use his considerable speed to the utmost—all the time.

Whether it's running out routine infield balls, or putting down bunts for base hits, the Blue Jays want Gose to use his speed as a weapon. They want the center fielder to put pressure on defenses, forcing mistakes.

"We just keep emphasizing to him that his speed is game-changing speed and we want him to fully develop that," assistant general manager Tony LaCava said. "Last year we kind of sidestepped it a little bit and worked on his swing and didn't emphasize bunting.

"Now we're going to bring bunting back, we want him to really look to take extra bases, which he has done in the past, but get out of the box maybe more to put pressure on people. That's going to be the focus for this year to finish off his game and fully utilize his speed."

Finishing off his game also includes a better two-strike approach at the plate. Gose knows he needs to do a better job of getting out of the batter's box on balls hit on the infield that appear to be routine outs.

"That's a fault of mine," he said. "I have, I guess you can say, jogged and casually got down to first base and it's been brought to my attention by the organization. It's something I have in my mind to get better at doing.

"Ground balls to first base, or second base or to the pitcher, or popping a ball up. It's not acceptable and it's something I've done. So it's something I have to continuously keep in my mind to continually go hard at all times because you never know what can happen. If they make an error I'm on base and it's a chance for us to score a run. I have to make a conscious effort to go hard on every ball no matter where I hit it."

Gose, 21, is likely to begin the season at Triple-A Las Vegas. In 2011 he helped Double-A New Hampshire win the Eastern League championship by batting .253/.349/.415 with 16 homers and 70 stolen bases.


• Gose, righthanders Drew Hutchison and Chad Jenkins, lefthander Evan Crawford, infielder Jon Diaz, first baseman Michael McDade and outfielder Moises Sierra were brought to Toronto in January for a weeklong mini-camp at Rogers Centre to give them experience in a major league environment in case they are promoted during the season.

• Diaz, 26, a fine defensive shortstop who also has played second base and third base in the minors, could develop into a major league utility player. Last year, he hit .267/.381/.339, mostly in Double-A.