Blue Jays: Why Cavan Biggio’s flexibility is a huge asset
Cavan Biggio started in right field for the Blue Jays on Tuesday night, and his defensive flexibility is going to prove to be a tremendous asset.
The Blue Jays are building a very impressive young core right now, and one of the many upsides for many of its players is defensive flexibility. We’ve heard the front office talk about that being a priority for a few years now, and we’re really starting to see it come to fruition.
With Bo Bichette not ready to return due to hamstring tightness and Randal Grichuk still feeling the effects of a sore back, Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo was able to get creative while filling out his lineup card for Tuesday night’s game. Being able to shuffle players around didn’t limit his options against Austin Voth and the Nationals, and the formula obviously worked just fine with a 5-1 victory.
To give you a quick recap, the Blue Jays gave Santiago Espinal his first start at shortstop to fill in for Bichette, and he continued to impress at the highest level. Rather than starting Derek Fisher or Anthony Alford in the outfield, Montoyo elected to put Joe Panik at second base and shift Biggio out to right field, sliding Teoscar Hernandez over to centre to cover for Grichuk’s absence.
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That flexibility exists with a lot of players on the Blue Jays roster, but it’s especially nice that a core piece like Biggio can move around without issue. He may not have arrived with the same hype that Bichette or Vladimir Guerrero Jr. did when they debuted in the big leagues, but he’s a talented young player, and they’re not always keen about moving around the diamond. On top of that, it’s not always a smart thing to do to a young player that’s adjusting to life in the big leagues, but it hasn’t really phased Biggio much at all during his limited time with the Blue Jays.
That could be very important as the Blue Jays continue this rebuild in the future. For example, maybe they ultimately decide that they like Austin Martin better as an infielder, and maybe even at second base. In that case, Biggio could shift to the outfield and it wouldn’t be a problem. For another, let’s say that Jordan Groshans doesn’t end up being the star that the front office hopes he’ll be. Biggio has experience as a third baseman as well, and I’m sure he’d handle the shift to the hot corner without issue if he were asked.
That flexibility is going to help Charlie Montoyo in 2020, and it’ll help the front office as they look to add the finishing pieces to this roster over the next few years. Biggio hits well enough that his bat should play pretty much wherever he lines up, and he’s proven to be at least capable on defence regardless of where he’s positioned. He’s also proven himself as a young team leader, so none of this is all that surprising either, at least in terms of his attitude.
Considering they picked him up in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, the Blue Jays have to be thrilled with pretty much everything they’re seeing from Biggio, including his shift on Tuesday night.