Blue Jays: A good start for a pair looking to make the team

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 25: Rowdy Tellez #44 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits his second home run of the night in the sixth inning during a MLB game against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on September 25, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 25: Rowdy Tellez #44 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits his second home run of the night in the sixth inning during a MLB game against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on September 25, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Neither nthony Alford or owdy Tellez are guaranteed to make the Blue Jays’ roster this season, but both have gotten off to a good start in Spring Training.

The Blue Jays have a number of players vying or a spot on the big league roster to begin the year, and it looks like they could be in for a pretty good competition.

They’ve only played two games of their Grapefruit League schedule, but already two players that could be on the fringe of making the team have left a positive impression. And for both Anthony Alford and Rowdy Tellez, the timing of their solid start could be important.

While both players will be looking to earn their spot on the 26-man roster, Alford is in a position of greater urgency since he is out of minor league options. With that in mind, it was very encouraging to see his skillset on display during Saturday’s spring opener, as Alford went 1-2. What made his day more memorable was the way he scored one of the two Blue Jay runs on the day.

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After reaching base, Alford stole second and third base, and then took home while the Yankees had another runner caught in a rundown between first and second base. It was a great example of the type of impact that Alford’s speed and athleticism can have on the game when he’s healthy, and it was clear that he’d provided another reminded to Charlie Montoyo about what he could potentially bring to the table, as the skipper gushed about him after the game.

As for Tellez, after going 0-1 with a walk in the first game against New York, he followed it up with a 2-3 performance against the Twins that included a pair of runs batted in. Granted the opportunities are limited in spring games, especially this early on, but Tellez is the only Blue Jay to have a multi-hit game thus far. That type of showing will be important for the bat-first slugger as he tries to prove the Blue Jays should start the season with him in the big leagues. What’s working against him as much as anything is the fact that he still has a minor league option available, and others like Alford and Derek Fisher do not.

After the Blue Jays went out and signed Travis Shaw over the winter, Tellez’s spot on the team became a lot less guaranteed, which isn’t a bad thing. He’s shown tremendous flashes of potential during hot streaks in the big leagues, but he needs to put together a consistent effort in order to earn regular playing time at the highest level. It looks like he’s come to camp in improved shape from last season, and that shouldn’t hurt his chances either.

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If everyone can stay healthy before Opening Day, the Blue Jays will have some difficult roster decisions to make, and that could include one or both of Alford and Tellez. Thankfully the pair has started off on a positive note, and hopefully they can both put together the type of spring that demands to be brought north to start the year. You can never have too many good players, and the best version of Alford and Tellez can certainly help this team win in 2020.

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