Blue Jays: Around the diamond, who might be the next man up
Starting in the infield
I’m going to go through each spot on the roster, so I figured I’d start with the catching position where we’ve witnessed one of the biggest changes. We got a pretty good glance at Danny Jansen last year, and now that Russell Martin has been traded to the Dodgers he’s been handed the full-time starting duties, flanked by Luke Maile as the back-up.
Jansen has struggled a bit with the bat to start his first full big league campaign, but my guess is he’ll be given quite a lengthy leash, especially since his defensive duties have to be the priority. However, if he needs a breather in Buffalo or ends up nicked up at some point this season, the Blue Jays are fortunate to have Reese McGuire waiting in the wings. They also have 29 year old Patrick Cantwell in Buffalo, who could serve as some emergency depth as well.
Over at first base, the Blue Jays have already used a few different players as Justin Smoak battles neck stiffness. Rowdy Tellez is the most obvious solution without Smoak in the lineup, but we’ve already seen that he’s not the de facto choice.
We’re bound to see Billy McKinney take some reps over there throughout the year, and it’s possible we continue to see guys like Lourdes Gurriel Jr., or even Alen Hanson. I also think it’s possible that Brandon Drury could see some reps at first base after Vladimir Guerrero Jr. arrives, so it could be a bit of a revolving door. That’s especially the case when you look at the Buffalo Bisons roster at the moment, and they don’t actually have an active first baseman.