Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Omar Vizquel, 44, makes Blue Jays
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Omar Vizquel has played his way into yet another season in the majors.
Boosted by an excellent showing in spring training, the backup infielder was told Wednesday that he'd made the team and would be added to the roster.
Vizquel found out a month before his 45th birthday, making him the oldest active position player in the big leagues.
The 11-time Gold Glove winner had signed a minor league contract on Jan. 23. He spent the previous two years with the Chicago White Sox as a utilityman and mentor to younger players.
"We knew what his character was and what kind of guy he was going to be in the clubhouse," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopolous said after Toronto beat Baltimore 9-3. "So that obviously came out the way it was expected. Omar just had a very good camp and he deserved to be on the team."
Vizquel turns 45 on April 24. The three-time All-Star shortstop from Venezuela is batting .433 in 15 exhibition games. He had a bunt single and scored a run in Toronto's win over the Orioles.
The Blue Jays optioned Mike McCoy, Vizquel's primary competition, to Triple-A Las Vegas after the game.
"McCoy had to be that much better than Omar and (Luis) Valbuena just because he had options and they had the ability to keep him," Anthopolous said. "Mike knew he didn't have a great camp, he's a lot better than he played."
"He's going to be back, like he was last year a lot, and I expect him to be back again. It's just one of those things that Omar had the best camp," he said.
This will be Vizquel's 24th season in the majors. He hit .251 with eight RBIs in 58 games for the White Sox last year.