Toronto Blue Jays slugger Rowdy Tellez could be on the outside looking in when the team heads north at the conclusion of spring training.
This season MLB teams will be permitted to roster 26 players as opposed to the usual 25, however, the extra roster spot still does not guarantee first baseman, Rowdy Tellez, an opening day job with the Blue Jays.
The 24-year old does not offer manager Charlie Montoyo much in terms of positional flexibility and employed somewhat of an all or nothing approach at the plate last season. Tellez did connect for 21 round-trippers in his rookie campaign but he also whiffed 116 times which equated to a 28.4 K/% in 2019.
The Blue Jays added Travis Shaw this offseason who figures to see the lions share of work at first base this upcoming season. Shaw is coming off a disappointing season of his own, however, he can also spell Vladimir Guerrero Jr. off at third base if need be.
Brandon Drury can play all over the infield and outfield and while he has seen limited action at first base he did line up there 12 times last season for Montoyo. There was also talk in camp earlier this week that Lourdes Gurriel Jr. may also get a look at first base during Grapefruit League action.
Outfielders Derek Fisher and Anthony Alford are out of options and will presumably get an extended look and every opportunity to make the team in order to avoid being exposed to waivers. Tellez still has a minor league option remaining and could be sent down to Buffalo without hitting the wire.
It is also being speculated that Joe Panik will make the team in a utility role while Reese McGuire is a lock to back up Danny Jansen. The Jays could even use the extra spot to keep third catcher Caleb Joseph in the fold while McGuire deals with his legal troubles.
At the end of the day, it may come down to Tellez or Drury for the final roster spot and Drury does offer more positional depth although Tellez offers more power. Tellez will have to come storming out fo the gate in spring training and prove he has the ability to cut down his swing and have consistent productive at-bats.
It should be interesting to see how it all plays out in the coming weeks and where Tellez ends up for Opening Day.