Blue Jays: Putting Spring Training in the rear view
Mar 27, 2015; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays outfielderJose Bautista
(19) stretches before the start of the spring training game against the Detroit Tigers at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
The Blue Jays outfield will bring a different look in 2015, with rookie Dalton Pompey and newcomer Michael Saunders projected to see the bulk of the playing time alongside Jose Bautista. Jays fans will have their fingers crossed that Bautista continues to play at an All Star level, which he should, so the spotlight will rest on the given uncertainties.
Saunders is set to return close to opening day, but has battled injuries throughout his career. Kevin Pillar could see a generous amount of playing time this season, along with one or more of Caleb Gindl, Chris Dickerson, Dayan Viciedo (gulp) or Andy Dirks. If Saunders is healthy, however, he brings a high-ceiling bat and underrated speed to the bottom third of the Blue Jays order.
With fellow Canadian Dalton Pompey, it may be difficult to reach his loft expectations. A season of .240 with quality defense should be considered a success for him, especially if he is able to take consistent walks and impact with his speed on the bases. Pompey will have some rough stretches as all rookies do, but Toronto would be wise to stick with him as long as possible. Pompey is a wildcard whose performance in 2015 could really push this club over the top.