Blue Jays: What should the goals be for the rest of the season?

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 26: General manager Ross Atkins of the Toronto Blue Jays speaks to the media before introducing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 before his MLB debut later tonight against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on April 26, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 26: General manager Ross Atkins of the Toronto Blue Jays speaks to the media before introducing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 before his MLB debut later tonight against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on April 26, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 16: Derek Fisher #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates a 2 run home run with Bo Bichette #11 in the second inning during a MLB game against the Seattle Mariners at Rogers Centre on August 16, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 16: Derek Fisher #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates a 2 run home run with Bo Bichette #11 in the second inning during a MLB game against the Seattle Mariners at Rogers Centre on August 16, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

More evaluating/identifying needs for 2020

While the Blue Jay have a lot to figure out yet with their pitching staff, their lineup is really starting to come together nicely for the next core of this team.

Including Guerrero Jr., Bichette, Gurriel Jr., Biggio, Jansen, and Randal Grichuk, I would argue that the Blue Jays already have at least six starters firmly in place for next year, and that’s a great foundation to start with. It’s also possible that the list extends beyond those six, and they’ll likely use the rest of this season to help them figure out whether or not that’s the case.

In my opinion, there are three players that fit that description: Teoscar Hernandez, Derek Fisher, and Rowdy Tellez, and for different reasons.

Of the three of them, Hernandez has impressed the most and as a result is likely the leading candidate for the centre field job next season. He struggled early on, but since his return from Buffalo he’s been a surprisingly serviceable outfielder up the middle, and he’s continuing to tantalize us with his power potential. I think the Blue Jays (and also many of us) are much higher on his future than they were a few months ago, and I’d be surprised if he wasn’t in the picture for next season. That said, he’s going to have to battle for his spot.

That’s because Derek Fisher needs a place to play, and I don’t know that the Blue Jays will want to utilize him as a fourth outfielder. He’ll be out of minor league options next season, which means he’ll have to stay on the 25-man roster or risk being exposed to waivers, and after paying a fair price to get him from the Astros in a three for one swap, I don’t think they’ll play that game. Fisher will need to impress more than he has so far during his Blue Jays’ tenure though, and I’m sure he’ll be a regular starter for the rest of the year, especially as Gurriel Jr. continues to nurse an injury on the IL.

For Tellez, September seems like his audition to see if he’s ready to take over first base next year, or time to see if the Blue Jays might need to bring a veteran in to help in that area. It’s entirely possible that they could re-sign Justin Smoak, but ideally Tellez would grab the job and run with it. That would allow the team to use the DH position to give more of their budding stars days off without taking them out of the lineup, and would also help them fit both Fisher and Hernandez in the lineup at the same time, should they prefer that route.

If the Blue Jays aren’t satisfied with what they have after watching their team over the next month, it’s possible that they could add on the position player side for next season. However, there should be enough talent, especially if the recent improvement continues. We’ll see what the next month or so tells us.

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