With trade rumours swirling around Justin Smoak, the Blue Jays are fortunate that Rowdy Tellez is finding his groove his Triple-A, and could be ready to return when needed.
Buffalo has been a place of revitalization for young members of the Toronto Blue Jays and it is looking like Rowdy Tellez could be the latest Blue Jay to bounce back after a stint in the minors.
It certainly seems like members of the Blue Jays do not enjoy the city of Buffalo. Players sent down to Triple-A have made it a mission to hit their way back to the team’s major league club.
It worked with Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who has been punishing baseballs since his return from Buffalo, and it also worked with Teoscar Hernandez who has enjoyed a power resurgence since his recall. The latest to be sent down was struggling first baseman Rowdy Tellez and he has followed the lead of his former teammates as his bat has been red hot lately while playing with the Bisons.
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Tellez has hit five home runs in 14 games with the Bisons, but it is not his power numbers that are important. The Blue Jays’ brass and anyone who was followed the team knows the power that the first baseman possesses, but Tellez has certainly improved his ability to put the ball in play since being sent down.
Tellez was recently named the Bisons’ player of the week after hitting the ball with some serious authority, posting a .429 batting average and an OPS well north of 1.000.
Since his demotion, Tellez is batting .292 with an OPS of 1.011. This is a far cry from the pedestrian numbers he put up with the major league club this season. Tellez’s .227 batting average and .716 OPS was not cutting it, especially for a first baseman/designated hitter, but his resurrection at the plate could not have come at a better time.
With Justin Smoak’s name being included in trade rumours recently, there is going to be a big hole in the lineup at first base and it is likely that Tellez would be first in line to replace the veteran should he be moved before today’s deadline.
Should the Blue Jays indeed call up Tellez in the coming days or weeks, the team is hoping that he can follow the footsteps of Gurriel and Hernandez and ride the wave of his hot streak all the way to the major leagues.
Tellez would then be joined by his former minor league teammates such as Cavan Biggio, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the recently promoted Bo Bichette. This would also mark the milestone of having an entirely graduated infield should the team run an infield diamond of Guerrero, Bichette, Biggio and Tellez.
While the previously mentioned three surely fit into the Blue Jays’ long-term vision, the future of Tellez’s is much more in doubt. The 24-year old first baseman has provided major league power, but his eye at the plate has been a lot more inconsistent. There is credible doubt about whether Tellez will still be on the team once they enter their competitive window, though the first baseman can make a stake for himself should he end the season on a good note.
Buffalo has proven to be a great confidence booster for players looking to find their groove at the plate. Tellez has found his groove again across the border and with the whispers of a possible trade of Smoak loaming, it could not have come at a better time.