Naturally, now that the Blue Jays have traded Rowdy Tellez to the Milwaukee Brewers, the lefty power bat has started to find his stroke.
Because of course he did.
Tellez was traded to the Brewers back on July 6th in order to acquire Trevor Richards and give the bullpen a boost. The deal made a lot of sense at the time, as the Jays were badly in need of some help for their battered bullpen, and Tellez had all but fallen out of the Blue Jays’ rotation this season as he struggled to find the success he had in 2020. Now that he’s getting a regular opportunity again in Milwaukee, he’s starting to resemble that dangerous hitter we saw last year.
Since making the move to the National League Tellez has slashed an impressive .333/.433/.625 for the Brew Crew also contributing two home runs and seven RBI over just 24 at-bats. It’s a small sample size to be sure, but so far the Brewers have to be happy with their return. With the Blue Jays the lefty masher hit just .209/.272/.338 with just four HR and eight RBI over 139 at-bats.
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The biggest problem for Tellez and the Blue Jays this year was a lack of opportunity. To be fair, Tellez did not make the most of his opportunities when he was in the big leagues and on Charlie Montoyo’s lineup card, and I can’t blame the Jays for moving on. That’s especially the case now that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has settled in as the full-time first baseman, and even more so with four outfielders that need to see regular playing time by rotating through the DH spot. Unless an injury had come up, Tellez has become nothing more than depth at first base, and a bench bat with limited defensive value, making it hard to carry him on the MLB roster in that role.
The other issue for the Blue Jays as they tried to keep Tellez was the need for room on the 40-man roster. Richards took Tellez’s spot on the 40-man, and otherwise the Jays may have had to make another move in order to activate him. We’ve witnessed similar depth clearing decisions lately like trading Joel Payamps to the Royals for cash considerations, and doing the same with T.J. Zeuch to the Cardinals.
It’s hard to say if the Blue Jays are still going to consider themselves buyers ahead of Friday’s trade deadline. They’re currently 49-46, which is good for 9.5 games back of the Red Sox for the AL East lead, and 4.0 games behind the second Wild Card spot. They’ll be in tough in order to make the jump they need in the standings, but we’ll see if Ross Atkins and his team will still make the investment and push for a playoff spot in 2021.
As for Tellez, with the Brewers it looks like he’s on track to see the postseason in 2021 with the Brewers holding a 6.5 game lead over the Reds in the central. Even if it’s a shame watch him performing like his old self in a different uniform, I’m still glad to see it.