Blue Jays: A very healthy competition brewing in the outfield

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JULY 16: Teoscar Hernandez #37 of the Toronto Blue Jays (back right), Randal Grichuk #15 of the Toronto Blue Jays (C) and Billy McKinney #28 of the Toronto Blue Jays embrace in the outfield after the victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on July 16, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JULY 16: Teoscar Hernandez #37 of the Toronto Blue Jays (back right), Randal Grichuk #15 of the Toronto Blue Jays (C) and Billy McKinney #28 of the Toronto Blue Jays embrace in the outfield after the victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on July 16, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

For an outfield depth chart that was pretty thin earlier this season, suddenly the Blue Jays have a pretty healthy competition brewing.

Remember when the Blue Jays were starting guys like Socrates Brito and Allen Hanson in the outfield earlier in the season? At the time it felt like the Blue Jays didn’t have a single outfielder worthy of being a full-time starter in the big leagues, let alone three.

Fast forward a few months, and now there is quite a good competition brewing in the Blue Jays’ outfield. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has established himself in left field after starting the season as an infielder, and he’s not going anywhere. You can pretty much lock that down for the foreseeable future.

Randal Grichuk has turned his season around after another difficult start, and hit his 20th home run last night. Teoscar Hernandez hit two home runs last night and has been a different player since he was recalled from Buffalo earlier this season. He’s been a pleasant surprise defensively in centre field, and he’s always been able to hit for power. Of course, there’s the newly acquired Derek Fisher as well, who the Blue Jays paid a pretty good price to get, and they’re going to have a long look at him one way or another.

More from Jays Journal

They also have Billy McKinney who will look to find a way to work into the group, and other talented minor leaguers as well. Anthony Alford had a very disappointing start to his season, but he’s been on fire in Triple-A lately, and would likely be pressing for a big league promotion if there was any playing time left to go around. Add the occasional start for Brandon Drury in the corners, and more talent on the way eventually like Griffin Conine, and a bare cupboard earlier this year is getting pretty full.

It will be interesting to see how Charlie Montoyo decides to shuffle his cards, especially with an infield picture that is also pretty full, but it will be important for the Blue Jays to sort out which of these guys is ultimately going to stick for the long term. It’s also a challenge because one could argue that while there is depth to draw from, there aren’t a lot of obvious candidates for the long term beyond Gurriel Jr. Grichuk received an extension at the beginning of the year, but with a fairly reasonable contract, I still think he has to earn his spot as well.

dark. Next. For Bo Bichette, records were made to be broken

For as tough as this rebuild has been to endure for the fan base this year, this young team has turned things around lately, and it’s not just Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doing all the damage. Hopefully the Blue Jays will be able to use the last 43 games of this season to help them evaluate what they have, and continue to shape this roster for the next generation of playoff contention. If things keep developing the way they have lately, including in the outfield, it could be sooner than later.

facebooktwitterreddit