Toronto Blue Jays: Who should be the bench infielder for Opening Day?

BUFFALO, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Joe Panik #2 of the Toronto Blue Jays gets a hit against the New York Yankees at Sahlen Field on September 23, 2020 in Buffalo, New York. The Blue Jays are the home team due to the Canadian government"u2019s policy on COVID-19, which prevents them from playing in their home stadium in Canada. Blue Jays beat the Yankees 14 to 1. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Joe Panik #2 of the Toronto Blue Jays gets a hit against the New York Yankees at Sahlen Field on September 23, 2020 in Buffalo, New York. The Blue Jays are the home team due to the Canadian government"u2019s policy on COVID-19, which prevents them from playing in their home stadium in Canada. Blue Jays beat the Yankees 14 to 1. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /
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Sep 15, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Richard Urena (7) runs to first base after hitting an RBI double against the New York Yankees during the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 15, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Richard Urena (7) runs to first base after hitting an RBI double against the New York Yankees during the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

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Richard Urena

A former Blue Jay, Richard Urena was designated for assignment after the 2019 season as he could never fully cement his spot on the active roster. He would spend last season with the Baltimore Orioles (who picked him up from waivers when DFA’d) but would not appear in a game last season, electing free agency at the end of the year. For his MLB career, Urena sports a .253/.300/.336 line with two home runs and 14 RBI with three stolen bases while playing shortstop, second, and third base.

Urena returns to the Blue Jays on a minor league contract and is currently in Spring Training as a non-roster invite. The switch-hitter is currently 2 for 10 with one double and four walks in 13 games.

Tyler White

A former Houston Astro, infielder Tyler White joins the Blue Jays on a minor league contract and as a non-roster invite for Spring Training this season. Last year, White played nine games in Korean Baseball Organization with SK Wyverns, sporting a .136/.367/.318 with one home run and four RBI. His season would come to an abrupt end when he took a pitch to his hand and fractured his pinky finger.

The first/third baseman has spent four years in the majors for both the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, crafting a .236/.315/.409 line with a .725 OPS and 26 home runs in 256 games. This Spring, White has appeared in 16 games and has two hits (one for extra bases), and has struck out eleven times.

Kevin Smith

A fourth-round draft pick by the Blue Jays in 2017, Kevin Smith has been climbing the organization’s farm system over the past three seasons, reaching AA in 2019 (as there was no minor league season in 2020). For the 2021 season, the SS/3B is ranked 30th overall on the Blue Jays top prospect list as per MLB Pipeline.

A long shot to make the roster, Smith is in the Blue Jays spring training camp as a non-roster invite as he is not on the 40 man roster. He is currently still in the Blue Jays training camp and has two doubles and one home run in 13 at-bats over 11 games (all of his hits have been for extra bases).

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