Blue Jays: Reese McGuire back to third on the depth chart?
The Blue Jays catching position has been a bit of a revolving door this year, and these days Reese McGuire might be on the outside looking in.
There have been times throughout the season that McGuire has basically been the regular starter, and he did a fairly solid job for a while too. He’s an above-average defender behind the plate, and he was regular contributor with the bat for a stretch as he punched singles over the heads of opposing infielders.
These days McGuire is going to be in tough to see much playing time though, and that’s because of the play of the other two catchers on the active roster. Danny Jansen finally made his way back from the Injured List after he re-aggravated his hamstring for the second time this year, and he’s been hitting the ball very well. The 26 year old has two home runs and two doubles in his first two starts since being activated, and he’ll surely see a regular opportunity as long as he’s hitting the ball with authority.
Then there’s Alejandro Kirk, who is quite clearly the best hitter of the trio, but also the weakest defender as well. That said, he’s developed a nice working relationship with Robbie Ray, and that’s an important factor over the last 28 games of the regular season. Ray has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball over the last month, and if things are working with Kirk then you can be sure the Blue Jays aren’t going to mess with that dynamic too much.
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The same goes for Jansen and his pairing with Hyun Jin Ryu, which was a combination that worked really well for the Koren southpaw earlier in the season. He’s had a bit of an up and down campaign in 2021, but he was outstanding during his last outing, and getting Jansen back isn’t going to hurt one bit to make him feel his most comfortable on the mound.
The Blue Jays are currently sitting 5.0 games behind the Red Sox for the second Wild Card spot, and 5.5 back of the Yankees for the first spot. It’s unfortunate that they won’t get to play the Red Sox again during the regular season, but there are still seven games to be played against the Yankees that could provide a direct opportunity to make up some ground. It’s basically do or die time for the Jays at this stage in the 2021 campaign, and I’m sure that Charlie Montoyo is going to roll with whomever is hot throughout the lineup, and the catching position will be no different.
At the moment I would expect that to mean that McGuire won’t see a lot of playing time over the next few weeks. That could quickly change of course, but now that Jansen is back and playing well, we knew someone was going to take a back seat.