Blue Jays Roster: What About Dalton Pompey?
When the Blue Jays appeared to be done making big moves at the Trade Deadline, they pulled a couple rabbits out of their hat acquiring Mark Lowe from Seattle and Ben Revere from the Phillies. These are two moves meant to help this team compete this year for the club’s first playoff appearance in 22 years! And, it could work. But, there is one nagging question after bringing in Revere. What does it mean for Dalton Pompey?
Ben Revere is a good pickup for the Blue Jays for a couple reasons. He brings a solidified presence in left field, firstly. After watching a less than ideal combination of Chris Colabello, Danny Valencia, and Ezequiel Carrera, this is a welcome upgrade. As well, after trading Jose Reyes to the Rockies for Troy Tulowitzki (I’m still in awe), the Blue Jays lacked a leadoff hitter. Well, Revere provides that. And, he’s a lefty too. And, even more appealing is that he’ll be a Blue Jay for more than just 2 months. He has two more years of arbitration remaining. So, that’s great team control.
Also from Jays Journal: Is Ben Revere Jose Reyes 2.0?
But, that is part of the problem for Dalton Pompey. Revere will likely be around for two more years. That’s one spot the Canadian outfielder won’t be getting. So, what about CF? Well, Kevin Pillar has all but cemented his claim to that at this point. Pillar’s defense alone has many believing he is the second coming. His .273/.307/.391 line is enough to keep him in the lineup even if his ability to talk a walk is nearly non existent at 4.4%. Believe it or not, it is actually up form last year’s 3.3%. His K% has also improved to 14.5%. All signs point to a positive outlook for Kevin Pillar…at least for this season.
So, again, where does that leave Dalton Pompey? Before all of this Trade Deadline insanity went down, I suggested there were 5 things this club needed to do to get better. After adding a pitcher, another pitcher and a closer, I argued that they needed to call up Dalton Pompey. This would have saved them the two young prospects (Jimmy Cordero and Alberto Tirado). But, there is more to this than that. This is bothering me on a personal level.
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The whole reason Pompey struggled in the first place was because he was looking over his shoulder at manager, John Gibbons, GM, Alex Anthopoulos and even Kevin Pillar. Looking back over your shoulder means you can’t look ahead and focus. Worried about making mistakes ends up in mistakes. “Playing scared” led to Pompey being demoted to AAA Buffalo. It didn’t work out there and he was sent all the way down to AA. This move was more about building his confidence back up more than anything else. Call it “building a consistent approach at the plate” all you like, this was about confidence.
So Pompey responded by finding his swagger in AA hitting .351. He was sent back up to AAA and has been hitting .275. But, even if he finds success again, he is now blocked by Revere and Pillar. Now, he could be brought up in favor of Ezequiel Carrera, but that seems unlikely. Even though Pompey brings the speed and defense that Zeke would. HE still remains a question mark. And, the club is not about to go with question marks at this point. What kind of message does that send to a player that seems to take these things to heart? Now, maybe it removes any kind of pressure in that it doesn’t matter how things go, he’s not coming up unless it is as a September call up. That way, he can just go out and not think about forcing his way up. Maybe, there’s something to that.
Realistically, though the Blue Jays made a play to get better now. Whether they considered Pompey or not is unknown, but they had to make an upgrade in LF. Revere is a known, proven commodity. He offers skills and tools the Blue Jays need. Dalton Pompey may have those some day. But, right now, he doesn’t. And, that is what is important to the Blue Jays: right now. They are clearly “all in” at this point and they can’t afford to bring up “what ifs”.
So, for now, Pompey will have to watch on and hope for that call in September. It would have been great to see him patrol the outfield at Rogers Centre. And, one day, he might. What the club does over the winter is anyone’s guess. If things stay as they are, Pompey will enter Spring Training with more competition than he had last time around. Hopefully, it will bring out the best in him. I, for one, will be pulling for him.
Next: Has There Been a Shift in Blue Jays Trade Philosophy?