Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: An early guess at how the 26-man roster will look

BUFFALO, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: The Toronto Blue Jays celebrate a 5-2 win against the Baltimore Orioles at Sahlen Field on September 26, 2020 in Buffalo, New York. The Blue Jays are the home team due to the Canadian government's policy on COVID-19, which prevents them from playing in their home stadium in Canada. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: The Toronto Blue Jays celebrate a 5-2 win against the Baltimore Orioles at Sahlen Field on September 26, 2020 in Buffalo, New York. The Blue Jays are the home team due to the Canadian government's policy on COVID-19, which prevents them from playing in their home stadium in Canada. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 5
Next
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 17: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Randal Grichuk #15 of the Toronto Blue Jays in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 17, 2020 in New York City. The Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 10-7. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 17: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Randal Grichuk #15 of the Toronto Blue Jays in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 17, 2020 in New York City. The Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 10-7. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The bench

It’s entirely possible that some of the names I listed on the last page could spend more time on the bench than in the lineup card. In some cases the depth extends further than the starting nine.

For example, Randal Grichuk is looking like he stands to lose a fair bit of playing time in 2021 after being the starting centre fielder for most of the last two seasons. He’ll more than likely platoon against lefties, and could even see a fair bit of time in a corner outfield spot while guys like Hernandez make starts as the designated hitter. I’m sure he’ll be the type that will play more often than not, but I don’t know that we can consider him a “starter” at the moment. That’s a pretty nice place to be, especially with his power bat off the bench.

As for the rest of the back-up squad, I suspect that Joe Panik will return to the big league roster now that he’s been re-signed. He did an admirable job as a utility man in 2020, and his left-handed bat gives the Blue Jays some needed balance.

As for a back-up catcher, I’m of the belief that Alejandro Kirk will start his season in Triple-A, even if his bat is ready to play at the big league level. He’s an exciting prospect, but to truly shine he could use some more defensive seasoning, and it would be easier to provide that with full-time duties. For now I’ll guess that it’s Reese McGuire’s job to lose, but I also think the Jays will look to sign a low-cost, veteran backstop.

Up until a few days ago I would have assumed that the last bench spot would go to Derek Fisher, but he’s now been designated for assignment. I hope and believe that will open the door for Jonathan Davis, whose speed and defence would be a nice weapon off the bench.

I’m sure we’ll see plenty of Santiago Espinal throughout the year as well, but my guess is he falls just short of making the Opening Day squad.

facebooktwitterreddit