Blue Jays: Charlie Montoyo prepared to think outside the box
The Toronto Blue Jays opted for a managerial switch this offseason bringing in a skipper with a plethora of minor league experience coupled with a propensity to think outside the box.
Blue Jays fans became accustomed to John Gibbons and his laidback, wait and see approach to managing. The Gibbons era featured crafted for the long ball and Gibby rarely took a proactive approach to generate offence. In saying that, Gibbons was a beauty and I am a big fan of what he stood for on and off the field.
However, thus far Charlie Montoyo has been a breath of fresh air and I have a sneaking suspicion that Blue Jays fans are going to be impressed with the rabbits he pulls out of his hat throughout the upcoming campaign.
Montoyo comes with a Tampa Bay Rays pedigree and was part of the coaching staff that had success employing the “Opener” to start ball games last season. Montoyo has already stated he will not shy away from utilizing relievers to start ball games if the situation dictates.
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The new skipper has already featured 4-man outfield defensive alignments in Grapefruit League action to combat sluggers Bryce Harper and Aaron Judge. Montoyo and his staff have already resolved that Blue Jays outfielders played too shallow last season resulting in an increase in extra base hits.
The new skipper also anointed Randal Grichuk as someone he will look to at the top of the Jays batting order this season. Probably not the most obvious choice but he obviously has confidence in the outfielder’s ability to grind out at-bats and set the table.
Montoyo is a forward-thinking manager who is not afraid to try new things or employ new tactics to give his team the advantage. All this and the games don’t even count yet.
The 53-year old has waited a long time for this opportunity, so he is not going to squander his chance to put his fingerprint on this team in an attempt to surprise naysayers.