Hopefully Lourdes Gurriel Jr. will be back on the field sooner than later, but what kind of lineups could the Blue Jays use while he’s on the sidelines?
Depending on the update that we get here on Friday it’s possible that the Blue Jays could be without their 28-year-old outfielder for at least the next few days or potentially much longer than that. He was injured on Wednesday night against the Orioles when he tumbled over first base while trying to beat out a ground ball, and it sounds like it’s a hamstring issue for the 2021 Gold Glove finalist.
Although the timing is far from ideal as they pursue a playoff spot, the Blue Jays will likely have to give him a few days off even if it was just a tweak to the muscle. Regardless, John Schneider is going to have to make some alternative lineup plans without his regular left fielder, and fortunately the Jays have a few different outfielders on their roster.
Before I get into who I think the real candidates for increased playing time might be, I’ll say right away that I don’t think there will be a major increase in playing time for Jackie Bradley Jr., and especially not for Bradley Zimmer. Both players are likely looking at more of a late-inning defensive replacement job, which could be even more important in Gurriel Jr’s absence.
So what is John Schneider looking at for options, and how will that impact the lineup overall? The Jays are going to work DH days in for guys George Springer, Alejandro Kirk and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. regardless, but they might have to be a little more creative going forward.