Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Things to keep an eye on in Spring Training

Henry Wright
DUNEDIN, FLORIDA - MARCH 21: Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays awaits the play during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees during a spring training game at TD Ballpark on March 21, 2021 in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, FLORIDA - MARCH 21: Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays awaits the play during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees during a spring training game at TD Ballpark on March 21, 2021 in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 6
Next
Blue Jays
Jul 10, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays infielder Kevin Smith (78) fields a ground ball during an intra-squad game in summer training at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

The Young Infielders

Bichette, Biggio, and Espinal are all essentially locks to be on the opening day roster, but after them there’s an opening at the utility/backup infield position. This is an opportunity for one or two of the Blue Jays young infield prospects to make a splash in Spring Training and win a spot on the 26-man roster. The players I believe would be most likely to take that spot would be Kevin Smith (SS/3B) and Otto Lopez (2B/OF/SS), who are currently on the 40-man, as well as Jordan Groshans and Orelvis Martinez (both SS/3B), who are internal non-roster Spring Training invites.

Smith had 36 plate appearances in 2021, and Lopez had one, but the other two have yet to even reach AAA. That being said, I think that given how open this part of the lineup is, they all have a shot at making the roster. Alejandro Kirk was able to make an even bigger jump in 2020, so you can’t rule anything out.

I would expect all four of these guys to see at least a few starts in Spring Training, although probably less than they normally would since it’s shorter than usual. Because of this, they’ll have to make good first impressions in order to get a roster spot, but even if they can’t make the 26-man, their performance will absolutely impact their role with the team as the season goes on. The window is still open for the Jays to make some infield additions via either free agency or trade, but I’d be keeping an eye out for these guys to make a push for the opening day roster.

facebooktwitterreddit