Toronto Blue Jays: DH position should remain fluid
The Toronto Blue Jays have started three different players at designated hitter over their first three games this season.
Alejandro Kirk, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and George Springer started as the DH over the opening weekend. It’s a strategy I believe Manager Charlie Montoyo will continue to use throughout the season and one that suits his team well.
The Jays are a highly skilled team, and one with many capable hitters. Going with a rotation at DH will maximize roster flexibility and keep guys fresh.
Blue Jays DH, keep it moving
Entering the season, many fans thought that Kirk would be the team’s primary designated hitter, and, sure enough, he started the first game in that spot.
It also seems clear that Toronto wants to give new outfielder Raimel Tapia a share of playing time, so giving Gurriel Jr., Springer, and, occasionally Teoscar Hernandez a half-day off is likely.
So, Kirk will probably get a couple of starts behind the plate a week, and at least one at DH, and he’ll be available as a valuable bat off the bench in others.
The trade for, and activation of Bradley Zimmer is a sign that the team may not want Springer to log too many innings in centre field. Zimmer is expected to be used as a late-inning defensive replacement but will also get occasional starts in the centre field spot, keeping Springer upright and a regular in the DH cycle.
Jays fans have already seen the value of Matt Chapman’s defensive expertise but the staff may decide to give him a rest in the field now and then. Santiago Espinal has proven himself to be a more than capable fielder at third base. Similarly, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will get the bulk of the starts at first base but will be part of the shuffle too.
Finally, don’t be shocked to see Danny Jansen in the role at times as well. He’s off to a hot start with a pair of homers and a double in the series against Texas. He may have finally unlocked the hitting tools he was touted for as a prospect.
This is a good “problem” to have. A flexible roster and an understanding that it’ll take everyone on the roster (and then some), to achieve the goals this team has.