Blue Jays: Four feasible ways to make up for the loss of Semien
Speaking of getting more out of a player
Just as the Blue Jays hope to get more from a healthier George Springer in 2022, the same could be said for Cavan Biggio, although to a lesser degree than for the established star.
Prior to last season Biggio was viewed as one of the centrepieces of the Blue Jays’ new core, and with fairly good reason. He slashed .234/.364/.421 with 16 home runs, 17 doubles, 48 RBI, and 14 stolen bases (without being caught) over his first 100 games during his rookie season, earning 3.0 bWAR. He followed that up during the pandemic-shortened season with a slash line of .250/.375/.432 over 59 games and 220 at-bats, and showed ability near the top of the lineup, especially as an on-base threat.
Unfortunately 2021 was a totally different story. It started with the 26 year old being asked to shift from his most familiar spot at second base over to a new position at third. He struggled a bit on defence as he adjusted, and that certainly didn’t help his cause at the plate either. On top of that, Biggio dealt with recurring issues, especially with a nagging neck problem, and I believe that it really impacted his performance.
There are some folks that would tell you that the league has simply figured Biggio out, and there could be some truth to that statement. However, I’m looking forward to seeing what a fully healthy Biggio can do in 2022, and if he bounces back to even being the player he was as a rookie then the Blue Jays are going to be in good shape. If he can progress even further then they’ll be laughing.
Don’t get me wrong, Biggio is never going to equal the kind of performance we saw from Semien in 2022, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a well above-average player. Even if he can provide half of that value while a healthy season from Springer makes up for a lot more, that could go a long way to keeping this Blue Jays lineup as long and dangerous as it could and should be. The same could be said for Santiago Espinal, who had a surprisingly productive 2021 campaign, and most definitely brings a lot of value with his defence. Our own Amy Sarkany talked about Biggio’s potential for next season just last week.
As I said before, I very much think the Blue Jays will still add to their infield picture. However, I still believe in Cavan Biggio’s ability to bounce back and be an important contributor to this team in the future, and I hope he’s fully healthy and gets a chance to do just that.