Blue Jays: Randal Grichuk will reportedly see time atop the order
Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo informed the media that Randal Grichuk will see some time atop the batting order when Billy McKinney is not in the lineup.
The Blue Jays skipper canvassed Randal Grichuk in regards to the opportunity and all indications are that the outfielder welcomed the idea. The 27-year old has hit leadoff 29 other times in his career including 21 times last season. Grichuk actually hit .324 in 74 plate appearances atop the order in 2018.
The Blue Jays have not employed a traditional leadoff hitter since the days of Shannon Stewart and Devon White. Grichuk obviously doesn’t fit that mold but the power-hitting outfielder is a professional hitter with the ability to hit the ball to the gap with authority.
Grichuk is a career .248/.298/.492 hitter with 91 homers and 108 bases on balls in 528 games between the Cardinals and the Jays. It will be interesting to see how Grichuk adapts to his new role on offence.
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Montoyo indicated that Grichuk would take over the role when Billy McKinney was not in the lineup. That may be some foreshadowing that Mckinney has a leg up on Dalton Pompey for the fourth outfielder spot.
Pompey is out of options while McKinney still has a minor league option available, however, Pompey has been slow to pick up the pace after fouling a ball off his knee last week. The Canadian outfielder could also be a fit atop the order but is hitting .241 in Grapefruit League action this spring.
The 25th and final roster spot appear to be down to Eric Sogard or Richard Urena for the utility infield position. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. will assume the everyday second base role with the injury to Devon Travis.
We will see how everything plays out but for now, it looks like Grichuk will slot into the leadoff role for Opening Day as the skipper experiments with his lineup.