Slowly the Buffalo Bisons roster is taking shape. The Toronto Blue Jays cut their roster to 34 players over the weekend, assigning four more players to their minor league camp. Presumably, those players will wind up with the Herd.
Those assigned include veteran infielder Dan Johnson, who spent most of last season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Norfolk in the International League. Combined, the left-handed slugger batted .250 with 26 doubles, 21 home runs and 70 RBIs in 138 games in the IL. Johnson has 117 home runs in the IL. in his career. He was the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2010.
Also famed out was 25-year-old outfielder Kevin Pillar, who batted .299 with 19 doubles, four home runs and 27 RBIs in 52 games with the Bisons. He began the season with Double-A New Hampshire and finished it with the Blue Jays. Pillar established a modern era Bisons record with four doubles in a game June 26 at Gwinnett.
Right-hand reliever John Stilson and right-hander Aaron Sanchez also were assigned to the minor league camp. Stilson spent the majority of the 2013 season with the Bisons and led all Herd relievers with six wins. Sanchez, 21, is rated Toronto’s No. 1 prospect by Baseball America. A first-round draft pick in 2010, he was 4-5 with a 3.24 ERA in 22 games (20 starts) for Single-A Dunedin of the Florida State League last year. This was his first big league camp and he pitched 12.1 scoreless innings with a 1-0 record for four appearances, which included one start. He allowed nine hits, six walks and struck out eight.