3 Blue Jays who should see an expanded role in 2024 and 2 who should not

With the season coming up soon, certain players will be looked upon to perform in a bigger role, whereas others will be taking a further step back.

Davis Schneider - Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays - Rogers Centre
Davis Schneider - Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays - Rogers Centre / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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Should Not: Santiago Espinal

After a few seasons where he had a specific role where he could flourish, Santiago Espinal was somewhat of the odd man out last season. The Jays had 4 second basemen on the roster in Whit Merrifield, Davis Schneider, Cavan Biggio, and Santiago Espinal. Even with Merrifield's departure, there simply isn't much reason to have Espinal on the roster, especially in an enhanced role. Espinal struggled heavily in 2023, slashing .248/.310/.335 for an 80 OPS+. In addition to his offensive shortcomings, he also graded out as a poor defender with -4 OAA, making his spot on the roster less practical.

There's also the factor of upcoming infield prospects who will likely get a shot at the major league level next year in both Orelvis Martinez and Addison Barger. It seems like the clearest course of action is to let their best infield options take on the most playing time, and this doesn't seem to include Espinal. It still remains possible that Espinal is moved before the beginning of the season, both clearing up space for the Jays, and also giving an opportunity for Espinal to recuperate some of his value in a new setting. If Espinal does make it to Opening Day, he would be placed into a bench role, and used primarily for hitting LHP, where he still has a .747 OPS in his career against them.