Blue Jays: Rowdy Tellez needs to be playing every day

BUFFALO, NEW YORK - AUGUST 26: Rowdy Tellez #44 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 after hitting a two-run home run, his second home run of the game, during the fourth inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox at Sahlen Field on August 26, 2020 in Buffalo, New York. The Blue Jays are the home team and are playing their home games in Buffalo due to the Canadian government’s policy on the coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NEW YORK - AUGUST 26: Rowdy Tellez #44 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 after hitting a two-run home run, his second home run of the game, during the fourth inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox at Sahlen Field on August 26, 2020 in Buffalo, New York. The Blue Jays are the home team and are playing their home games in Buffalo due to the Canadian government’s policy on the coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The Blue Jays received another big performance from Rowdy Tellez on Wednesday, and you have to wonder when he’s going to start playing every day.

Despite being a fan for the most part, I’ve spent a lot of time criticizing some of the decisions that Charlie Montoyo has made. Not to keep beating the same drum, but I’m going to do it at least one more time here.

That’s because I believe that Rowdy Tellez should be playing every day, and he reminded us why again last night with another big performance against the Red Sox. I wrote about what I thought Charlie Montoyo should do with the lineup a few weeks back, and I wanted to see Tellez playing more then.

The burly first baseman hit two home runs, and picked up another RBI single to put the Blue Jays up 9-1 in the 7th inning. The solid performance pushed his slash line up to .254/.308/.549 with six home runs and 17 RBI over 71 at-bats, but the numbers don’t tell the full story. For those of us that have watched this team consistently this year, you’ll likely agree that when Rowdy is on, he’s one of the most dangerous hitters in the lineup.

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I believe the best way to get Tellez to perform more consistently is to give him a more consistent opportunity. That’s a bit complicated now that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has moved across the diamond and is also receiving at-bats as a DH, but it’s still doable most of the time. There’s also not much of an argument that he needs to sit against southpaws either, as he’s slashed .357/.400/.500 in 14 at-bats so far this season, and his splits were encouraging last year as well. If anything, maybe he should be sitting more against right-handers, where he entered last night’s game hitting just .189 over 53 at-bats. I don’t actually think he should sit against righties, but it should illustrate the point that he’s not really a platoon guy.

Not only do I believe that the Blue Jays will get the most of out of Tellez if he’s playing all the time, I think they need to see what they have in him this year and start to make some decisions about the future. I don’t think that needs to happen this week, but if the Blue Jays are going to proceed with both Vlad Jr. and Rowdy on the roster for the long-term, they need to commit to it. That’s not to suggest that no one else can DH or that the pair has to play 162 games, but they should be a consistent presence in the lineup.

The Blue Jays have had Guerrero Jr. taking ground balls at third base again recently, which would give Montoyo more lineup options. That said, they also acquired Dan Vogelbach this week to add some power to the bench, and he’s exclusively a first baseman/DH as well. I don’t imagine he’ll get a lot of starts, but I feel like the Blue Jays aren’t using Tellez enough as it is, so it was a curious addition.

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As Buck Martinez talked about on last night’s broadcast, a good performance will earn a player more playing time, and hopefully Tellez’s big night against the Red Sox will give him just that. In his post-game interview with Sportnet’s Arash Madani, Tellez refused to blame the lack of every-day starts on his inconsistent performance. It would appear he’s ready, and it would be great to see what he’s made of on a full-time basis.

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