Gose surprised, excited for callup to Blue Jays
Prospect collects first career hit on bunt single, to start in right field Wednesday
NEW YORK -- The future has suddenly become the present for Blue Jays No. 2 overall prospect Anthony Gose.
Toronto's talented outfielder received a surprise promotion to the big leagues on Tuesday afternoon after the club placed Jose Bautista on the 15-day disabled list with a left wrist injury.
Gose was completely caught off guard by the move as the native of California didn't realize he was next in line for a call to the big leagues in the event of an injury.
"Exciting, nerve-wracking, the feeling is indescribable," Gose said. "It's been surreal to be here and be making my Major League debut at Yankee Stadium with all the history and everything.
"I've been to New York a couple times but never here at the stadium. To be on the field with these guys and the team, like I said, it's surreal and it hasn't really sunk in yet."
Gose entered Tuesday's game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning and grounded out to short in his first Major League at-bat. He got up again in the ninth and legged out a bunt single off lefty Clay Rapada for his first career hit.
"It's a great feeling to get one out of the way," said Gose, who took over in right field for Ben Francisco. "I guess they say the first one is always the hardest one, and I got it out of the way."
Gose will get his first big league start in right field on Wednesday and is expected to consistently play against right-handed pitching.
The 21-year-old earned the promotion after hitting .292 with 41 RBIs and 29 stolen bases in 92 games for Triple-A Las Vegas. He was originally acquired from Houston for infielder Brett Wallace in 2010 but has become a much different hitter during the ensuing two years.
Gose spent his time in the Astros' organization as a slap hitter who used his speed to get on base by hitting the ball on the ground to all fields. The Blue Jays thought he had more potential than that and encouraged him to work on driving the ball with more authority.
That resulted in a 16-homer season for Double-A New Hampshire and an additional five this year with Las Vegas. Gose also posted an .808 OPS with the 51s despite getting off to a slow start by hitting just .216 in April with an on-base percentage under .300.
"I feel it's night and day from when I first came over and to the point I am now," said Gose. "I still have a lot of work to do, I still have to keep getting better. Still refining things and getting better at my craft and doing the things I need to do. But from where I started to where I am now, it's completely night and day, I feel personally."
Gose's promotion came as somewhat of a shock because it was originally expected he would spend the entire year in the Minor Leagues. Fellow outfielder Travis Snider had been the more popular choice for people predicting which direction the club would go in following Bautista's injury.
Snider, who lost the starting job in left field to Eric Thames during Spring Training, is both older and more experienced than Gose. He also has posted a .322 average with 10 home runs and 49 RBIs in 53 games but has battled a lingering wrist injury for most of the year.
Gose listed Snider as one of his main influences in Las Vegas this year and had to admit he never thought about being promoted before the former Major Leaguer received another shot.
"I would have said Travis," Gose said when asked who he expected to get the call. "He has been here, he has worked hard, he's had a great season. He has battled injuries, came back, been strong for the team, been a team leader throughout the year, and I would have just said Travis Snider.
"Snider has been unbelievable. He's really helped me out a lot with how to go about the daily business. He's been here and he knows what it's like. He's trying to get back and he's helped me out tremendously."
Gose will be with the big league club for at least the next two weeks. Anything beyond that remains uncertain as the Blue Jays have to wait and see how Bautista responds while also monitoring Gose's overall development.
It's possible Gose could earn himself an everyday job and shift to left field upon Bautista's return, but Blue Jays manager John Farrell didn't want to get into specifics. Instead, he said for now Gose will start against righties and possibly hit at the top of the order.
"He hasn't even walked on the field yet," Farrell said before Tuesday's game. "Hopefully, in Jose's case, it's not a long-term situation. I've always mentioned it before -- it's like inviting someone to a dinner party and then asking them when they're going to leave. That's not going to be the case in this situation. We sustained a significant injury, and Anthony is here to contribute."
Gose comes to the big leagues riding somewhat of a hot streak. He hit .293 with a .383 OBP and four extra-base hits in 12 games this month while also participating in the Futures Game during the All-Star break in Kansas City.
The promotion to Toronto came earlier than expected, but Gose said he's up for the challenge and will do whatever he can to help the Blue Jays remain competitive in the American League East.
"Whatever they need, wherever they put me, whatever they want me to do," Gose said. "I'm just here to play the game like I've been playing and hopefully help the team win any way possible."