While Randal Grichuk is healthy and still performing reasonably well right now, the Blue Jays should consider sitting him for most of the rest of the season.
After last night’s game with the Boston Red Sox, the Blue Jays have just 16 games left in their 2019 campaign. That’s hard to believe, especially when it feels like just a few weeks ago that we were at the start of a 162 game marathon.
We knew it was going to be a long rebuilding year in Toronto this season, but with the arrival of future stars like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and more, there were still plenty of reasons to tune in on most evenings. We knew those players were going to make their debuts at some point during the season, but when I think back to the start of the 2019 season, I remember being excited about one player in particular; Randal Grichuk.
He’s not exactly a rookie, but Grichuk’s 2018 second-half had me thinking that he had huge breakout potential, and I still believe he has that type of talent if he can ever put it all together. That said, he wasn’t able to take the huge step forward this year that I hoped for, as he entered last night’s game with a slash line of .230/.282/.438 with 25 home runs and 64 RBI in 135 games.
More from Jays Journal
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
That’s not the breakout that I was hoping to see, but it does tell me that the 28 year old is likely here to stay in the Blue Jays’ outfield. Having the ability to play both centre and right field is very helpful, and he also received a five-year contract extension before the season began, and he’s played at least well enough to earn regular playing time.
All that said, I’m hoping to see Charlie Montoyo sit him down for most of the remainder of this season.
The reason I’m picking on Grichuk here is because I think he’s the most likely outfielder to have a guaranteed place on this team next season. I think the same goes for Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in left field as well, but it would be good to see the second-year player get a couple of weeks worth of games under his belt before this year is over to cement things. The fact that he’s set to return sooner than later is part of the reason I feel like Grichuk needs to sit down right now as well.
If Gurriel Jr. comes back and starts in left field (as he should), then there is only so much playing time to go around for the rest of the outfield group. The reality is, the Blue Jays need a chance to evaluate some of their other options, and players like Derek Fisher, Anthony Alford, Jonathan Davis, and even Teoscar Hernandez and Billy McKinney all need playing time to give the front office a chance to evaluate their place in the organization.
Montoyo will continue to use the DH spot in order to get his players semi-regular at-bats, but with the outfield it might be a situation where the manager needs to talk to one of his older veterans about what’s good for the team in the long run. I’m sure Grichuk won’t want to sit down, and it’s not like this is going to happen to the point where he won’t play another game or anything, but running him out there everyday doesn’t make sense over the last couple of weeks. Selling him on the idea of trying to make this team better for 2020 shouldn’t be that hard, and he’s been a professional long enough to understand how these things work, and that it shouldn’t be perceived as a threat to his position. And really, it’s only a couple of weeks worth of games.
Personally, I’d like to see an outfield that’s made up of Fisher, Alford, and Gurriel Jr (once he returns), and the Blue Jays probably need to figure out what they’re going to do with Jonathan Davis as well. In order to do that, those guys are going to need to play more than a few innings as a defensive replacement.
There was a time earlier in the year (think, Socrates Brito receiving regular starts) that it felt like the Blue Jays barely had any options for their outfield. Thankfully that has changed over the course of the year, and because of it, they’re most established option should take a seat for now. Beyond giving him the chance to reach the 30 home run plateau for the first time in his career, it would be best for Randal Grichuk to take a seat for most of the remainder of this season.