Since coming from back the IL, Cavan Biggio has looked a lot more like the player the Blue Jays saw during his first two MLB seasons, and some of his recent success could be attributed to a new role.
Biggio started the season penciled into the starting role at second base, or at least in a strong-side platoon with Santiago Espinal. However, the season didn’t start out on a very positive note for the 27 year old and he soon found himself on the IL, and eventually back in the minor leagues trying to find his stroke.
Over the last 15 games, Biggio looks like he’s found the form that brought him to the highest level, as he was slashing .310/.463/.595 heading into Saturday’s start against Corbin Burnes and the Brewers. He’s brought another threat to a long lineup, which is pretty significant when Biggio is bringing up the rear of the group and helping turn things over. If he can access the on-base ability that we saw throughout his first two seasons, and again more recently, that’s a pretty huge development when the top comes around with George Springer and Bo Bichette.
Not only is it great to see Biggio back healthy and performing the way he has, it’s very encouraging to see him embracing his new role as a utility man. It’s a gig the Blue Jays have envisioned for him for a long time, and given the construction of the rest of the roster, it works really well these days. He’s done a fine job filing in for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at first base when the slugger gets a half-day off to DH, and he starts at second base when Santiago Espinal slides around to third base or to shortstop. He’s also a capable outfielder, and while that skill hasn’t been utilized a whole lot, it definitely gives Charlie Montoyo some options with the lineup, especially if they’re using a pinch hitter late in the game.
The turnaround has come at the right time for Biggio, as earlier this year the questions about his future were getting louder, and becoming more legitimate rather than reactionary. The native Texan isn’t a kid anymore, and he had been surpassed on the depth chart by Espinal, which left him looking for a way to get into the lineup and contribute. Not only has he done that in his new role as a utility guy, but he’s back to having the trust of his coaching staff, even getting the opportunity to lead off on Saturday in George Springer’s absence.
He may not turn out to be the star that the team was marketing in his early days in the big leagues, but the Blue Jays really don’t need him to be. Right now he’s filling an important role on a team with plenty of hitting stars, and if he can keep this up, there will be a job for Biggio in Toronto for a long time.