Blue Jays: The Five Burning Questions for the 2018 season

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 5: Manager John Gibbons
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 5: Manager John Gibbons /
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TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 19: Russell Martin
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 19: Russell Martin /

How long until Teoscar Hernandez gets called up?

The talented outfielder that came over from the Houston Astros last season is almost indisputably ready for a big league shot, but it’s just a matter of if the Blue Jays have a spot from him right now.

After a rock solid audition in September last season (that has carried on into this spring), some folks thought the Blue Jays may give him a starting job in 2018, especially with the expected departure of Jose Bautista in free agency. The team indeed cut ties with the legend, but instead opted to bring in a pair of new outfielders, Randal Grichuk in a trade with the Cardinals, and Curtis Granderson through free agency.

Adding those two to a group that includes Kevin Pillar and Steve Pearce leaves no place for Hernandez to play, at least not on a regular basis. For awhile it looked like one or both of Pearce and Grichuk might not be ready for Opening Day, but at the moment it looks like both will be ready. That might leave Hernandez in Buffalo to start the season, but don’t expect him to stay there for long.

We’ve talked about it a lot here at Jays Journal, but Hernandez’s ability to play all three outfield positions gives him the chance to get called up as soon as any of the regulars need a breather, or maybe if others around the diamond do as well. He’ll need to continue to work on cutting down his strikeouts, but his ability to provide power and speed on offence, and an above average glove in the outfield, make him someone John Gibbons would like to have around.

It’s hard to put a date on when he’ll get called up (it could even be Opening Day if someone is deemed not quite ready), but expect his reunion with the big club to come early, and for him to stick at some point this season. He’s too good of a player to be toiling in Triple A, and I don’t expect it to last very long, one way or another.