Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Five players looking to bounce back in 2022

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 03: Nate Pearson #24 of the Toronto Blue Jays catches the ball during a MLB game against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on September 3, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 03: Nate Pearson #24 of the Toronto Blue Jays catches the ball during a MLB game against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on September 3, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 30: Randal Grichuk #15 of the Toronto Blue Jays flies out in the third inning of their MLB game against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre on September 30, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

Randal Grichuk

One of the longest-tenured Blue Jays on this younger roster, Randal Grichuk sits in an awkward position when it comes to finding a spot to play amongst the current outfield scenario. With Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in left field, Teoscar Hernandez in right field, and George Springer in centre, Grichuk appears to be the odd man out defensively. The club will obviously move them around to give Springer some additional rest days after the knee injury last season and probably give Grichuk some reps at the DH spot, but having a $10 million AAV player on the bench is less than ideal.

The biggest issue for Grichuk has been consistency, as the righty-batter has struggled to keep a consistent pace over the course of an entire season. He’s hot, then he’s cold, then he’s back to hot, then back to cold. With Springer beginning last season on the IL, it seemed like a prime opportunity for Grichuk to prove he belonged and he took advantage of it for the first two months. By the end of May, Grichuk had 39 RBI and a .289 batting average with a .820 OPS, making it seem like he was off of this rollercoaster that had plagued him years prior.

After a disappointing 2021 campaign, these five Blue Jays players are looking to bounce back in 2022 and prove they belong in the lineup.

His play started to diminish mid-Summer and so does his playing time when Springer was healthy, finishing the year with a .241/.281/.423 slash line and a .703 OPS, his lowest since his debut campaign back in 2014. While the power stroke is there given his 22 home runs, the hot/cold aspect of his game has pushed him to the outside of the outfield equation and his name even appeared in trade rumours prior to the lockout.

Whether or not he does get traded, a bounce-back season for Grichuk would be him finding consistency at the plate as he is able to handle himself defensively as a corner outfielder. The biggest question mark will be whether he gets a chance or not given the current outfield makeup, as a trade either involving himself or Gurriel Jr. may be the only way he sees more playing time in the near future.

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