The Toronto Blue Jays will have some decisions to make after tomorrow afternoon’s game when the rosters decrease by two players.
Teoscar Hernandez is coming back at some point in May, and Danny Jansen hopefully not too long after him. Lastly, Hyun Juyn Ryu threw some live batting practice today and also could be in play soon. How long before we see Cavan Biggio back on the club from his COVID IL stint?
Why am I mentioning this?
Well, the Blue Jays will need to trim their roster down by two spots as of Monday May 1st. They will have some tough choices to make on who to keep and who to send to Buffalo. Two players who are receiving a lot of attention from Blue Jays fans are outfielder’s Ramial Tapia and Bradley Zimmer.
Going into today’s game against Houston, the Blue Jays have 13 position players on their roster, three catchers , four outfielders and seven infielders. That leaves a 5-man rotation and a 10-man bullpen. The easy move for the Jays would be to return either infielder Vinny Capra or Gosuke Katoh to Buffalo. They could also send a catcher like Tyler Heineman or Alejandro Kirk that way as well then the Blue Jays roster would be at the required 26 . With the state of the bullpen right now I’m unsure that hey are willing to go down to nine.
The hard part is going to be when Teoscar and Jansen return. Hernandez will take his spot in right field everyday with the occasional DH start. Tapia is out of options, so if the Jays try to send him to Buffalo they could expose him to waivers and his services would be very well in demand. In 17 games Tapia is hitting .254 with a .261 on base percentage on the season. His WAR is 0.0 for the 2022 season. Tapia had a reputation for being more of a bat to ball player than Randal Grichuk. He currently has 12 strikeouts in 67 at-bats. Tapia has not committed an error and his dWar is -0.01. Bottom line is he is playing like a fourth outfielder.
Bradley Zimmer is a young man who was highly touted. The Guardians valued his potential power and his defensive ability. Unfortunately, Zimmer is a player who has a hard time making contact with the baseball. His strikeout rate in his limited time in 2022 is over 42%. You can make all of the great defensive plays in the world but if you can’t put the bat onto the ball on a consistent basis you won’t succeed in the American league East. Zimmer is also out of options.
Unfortunately for Zimmer the Blue Jays may try and sneak him down to Buffalo if he can’t improve his offence. Dead ball season or not, he could be the odd man out when Teoscar returns to the big club. Luckily for him he still has some time. I would expect both Tapia and Zimmer to be on the 26-man roster after Monday.