The Blue Jays possess a pretty strong outfielder core right now featuring Lourdes Gurriel Jr., George Springer, Teoscar Hernandez, and Randal Grichuk while also boasting bench options in Corey Dickerson and Jarrod Dyson who can both play multiple outfield positions.
While the core seems pretty set in stone as of right now, there is one option down in AAA that may be worth taking a look at if the Blue Jays are looking to add another left-handed bat in the lineup with outfield experience.
After spending parts of eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, outfielder Gregory Polanco was designated for assignment earlier this season and would go on to sign a minor league contract with the Blue Jays once he was released by the Pirates organization. For his major league career, Polanco sports a .241/.309/.409 slash line with 96 home runs, 362 RBI, and a .718 OPS through 2883 at-bats with the Pirates.
Since joining the Buffalo Bisons, Polanco has found his bat once again, slashing .320/.370/.620 with a .990 OPS through 13 games, cranking out 4 home runs and collecting 10 RBI in the process.
Currently in the Blue Jays minor league system, outfielder Gregory Polanco is playing well and could see a call-up to the big league roster before the season comes to a close.
While the pitching talent between AAA and the major leagues is obviously different, the fact that Polanco keeps finding a way to put the ball in play with the Bisons is a positive sign for a player who looked to be quite overmatched at the big league level.
This begs the question: should the Blue Jays consider bringing Polanco up to the big league squad considering how well he is playing in AAA?
While he is playing well with the Jays affiliate, Polanco is currently not on the 40-man roster, meaning someone would have to be dropped before the Dominican product could be added to the active roster. This is a tall order at the moment as the club seems pretty set, however, the club could choose to DFA a relief pitcher like Kirby Snead or Bryan Baker if they feel like either player has a chance to sneak through the waiver wire.
Another idea to consider is the depth the Blue Jays have at the outfield position, especially since Dickerson fills in as the left-handed batter with outfield experience on the roster right now. Even with Springer only playing as the designated hitter right now, Grichuk, Dickerson, and Dyson can play in the outfield and the depth within the outfield is quite high and could lead to Polanco staying in the minors, especially since Bison’s teammate Josh Palacios is already on the 40-man roster. The front office could DFA Dyson to bring up Polanco but considering the plus speed he possesses, it seems like the Jays seem pretty comfortable with having the former Kansas City Royals outfielder on the bench.
The big question that needs to be answered is does Polanco provide more upside than Dickerson on the major league roster considering both are outfielders and bat left-handed? I’ll let you decide.
The best thing for Polanco to keep doing is to keep putting the barrel on the ball in AAA and force the Blue Jays to consider promoting him to the big league squad, especially if he can keep driving in runs and hitting the long ball.
While his days of being a big-league starter may be on hold for right now, Gregory Polanco is proving to be a valuable asset in the Blue Jays minor league system and could find a way to the major league roster if the front office makes some roster moves.
While this may seem like a tall order, anything is possible as the Blue Jays trudge on towards the postseason and look for any advantage to win games, with the potential to see Polanco repping the Blue Jays jersey before the season comes to a close.