Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo appeared on the Fan 590 radio station yesterday and revealed his Opening Day starting outfield alignment.
The announcement is not exactly earth-shattering but it does confirm what most of us were anticipating in that the Blue Jays will employ the trio of Teoscar Hernandez, Randal Grichuk and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. as their starting outfield on Opening Day versus the Boston Red Sox.
It is anticipated that Grichuk will assume the centerfield responsibilities while Hernandez will shift to right and Gurriel will remain in left field to begin the 2020 campaign. The likes of Derek Fisher, Anthony Alford, Jonathan Davis, and Billy McKinney are all vying for a bench role as the extra outfielder on the squad.
Fisher and Alford may have a leg up on the competition for the mere fact that both players are out of options and will have to be exposed to the waiver wire before they can be demoted. Mckinney still has an option remaining while Davis has a pair.
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McKinney has arguably had the best spring of the bubble players thus far hitting .300 while going 6 for 20 with three doubles and a homer in nine games. The 25-year old also played a handful of games at first base last season which could bode well for his chances.
It was anticipated that the Blue Jays would address their outfield this past offseason, however, the brain trust appears content with the trio in place. It may not be the best defensive outfield in the majors but the trio has a chance to hit 100 homers between the three of them if they are healthy.
In 2019, the three outfielders connected for 77 round-trippers, however, both Gurriel and Hernandez were demoted for part of the year. Gurriel only played in 84 games mainly due to injuries but has the chance to be a superstar if he can remain on the diamond.
Hernandez has been nursing a sore groin of late but he was back in Grapefruit League action yesterday so it does not appear the injury will have any lasting effects.
It should be interesting to see how the final roster shapes out but as of right now Hernandez, Grichuk and Gurriel Jr. will be you starting outfielders on March 26th at the Rogers Centre.