The evolution of Blue Jays rookie Alejandro Kirk may not bode well for Danny Jansen’s playing time as the postseason draws near.
When Danny Jansen broke into the league in 2018 it appeared that he would be the Blue Jays backstop of the future. Jansen gained valuable on the job training from catcher Russell Martin before the veteran eventually handed over the torch to Jansen.
Jansen hit 13 homers in his first full season in the majors last season while steadily improving defensively behind the dish. He would finish the season with a .207/.279/.360 slash line while hitting just .201 for the entire second half of his rookie campaign.
Regardless of the numbers, there was a lot to like about Jansen and the future appeared bright. This season it appeared that Jansen and Reese McGuire would make a formidable young tandem with tons of upside for Toronto.
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However, both backstops have struggled mightily with the stick this season, McGuire also had offseason legal issues that did not help the matter. In 19 games, McGuire hit .073 with one homer before being demoted back to the alternate training site in Rochester.
Coupled with Mcguire’s struggles is Jansen who is hitting just .160/.297/.292 with four homers in 39 games. The catcher’s spot in the batting order has essentially provided zero offence this season and is almost an automatic out every time through the order.
This is where my spirit animal, Alejandro Kirk enters and takes playing time away from Jansen moving forward. The 21-year made his MLB debut earlier this month after never playing above High- A ball. Kirk hit the ground running and does not appear intimidated by the bright lights and pitching in the majors.
Kirk has notched six hits including a homer in 15 plate appearances including a four-hit effort last night versus the Yankees. The backstop has only struck out once and will be an offensive upgrade over Jansen moving forward.
The team is destined for the postseason and will need every spot in the batting order firing on all cylinders. Kirk has a better chance of providing that currently than Jansen or any other catcher at the alternate location.
Jansen will catch game one of the playoff by default as he has become the personal catcher for Hyun Jin Ryu, however, other than that nothing is guaranteed.
Manager Charlie Monotyo has made a plethora of questionable managerial decisions this season but playing Kirk over Jansen seems like a no-brainer.
Get ready Blue Jays fans, Captain Kirk is preparing for launch.