For the Toronto Blue Jays this season, there has been no position with a higher turnover rate than that of the outfield, and it seems like every night there is someone new manning an outfield position.
The only mainstay of the outfield for the Blue Jays this year would be Randal Grichuk, outside of him it’s been open casting. Lourdes Gurriel Jr was just recalled from Buffalo and he is likely to mix in heavily for outfield time. He hit a home run in his first game back for the Blue Jays yesterday and will look to keep the ball rolling offensively after a slow start before his demotion.
Gurriel Jr took the roster spot of Billy McKinney who hasn’t been able to get much going offensively this season. With Cavan Biggio making the trip from Buffalo to Toronto with Gurriel Jr, it seems even more likely that Gurriel’s second go in Toronto could be spent mostly in the outfield to begin.
It would fit in with what Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins have been doing lately: giving anyone with a pulse a chance to see if they can stick is one of the MLB’s weakest outfield. Before the season started management were probably expecting to see a battle between Dalton Pompey and Anthony Alford this season, but for separate unexpected reasons, it hasn’t happened for either of them.
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In Pompey’s case, I am not sure Blue Jays management are counting on him for the future anymore. Anthony Alford has done better in May than April while in AAA, but his numbers still don’t merit a call-up.
Alfords been one of the Blue Jays biggest disappointment so far in 2019, especially considering they traded Kevin Pillar which should have theoretically opened up playing time for him already, but that time ended up going to Socrates Brito and Jonathan Davis instead.
The only bigger disappointment than Anthony Alford this season would be Teoscar Hernandez. His down season culminated in being demoted to the Bisons on May 16th. After a strong offensive 2018 season, many were expecting Teoscar to turn the page on his defensive struggles and round out into an everyday player, but now he’s struggling offensively too, and that makes his chances of sticking on the MLB roster that much lower.
Who knows, maybe the Blue Jays can repeat history and find a Jose Bautista type castoff player by churning through all these random outfielders.
However, if Gurriel Jr and these other reclamation players don’t end up being successful in the outfield, then it might force Blue Jays management’s hands to obtain some legitimate outfield prospects from international signings, trades, or in the draft to address what has become the Toronto Blue Jays biggest weakness.