Finally, looking more and more like the one that got away as each day goes by, Gabriel Moreno has been a monster for the Diamondbacks in 2023, not only during the regular season, but now in the playoffs as well. As part of the other key asset given up by the Jays in the acquisition of Varsho, Moreno has become the bonafide MLB starting catcher that many had predicted him to be.
For the 2023 season, he batted a solid .284 with a .747 OPS, along with 19 doubles, seven home runs, 50 RBI and six stolen bases in 111 games played. More impressively was his strong defensive play in which he had thrown out close to 40% of the base stealers, committing only three errors and posting an astounding 20 DRS, while allowing only one passed ball all season. When Jays’ catcher Danny Jansen had to undergo season-ending surgery on his finger in September, Moreno would have been the ideal candidate to insert into the starting lineup and lead the Jays into the postseason with both his offensive and defensive prowess. Unfortunately, just like Gurriel, he is doing it for another team now.
Speaking of which, Moreno is currently having the biggest impact in the playoffs among all of the former Jays mentioned above. In ten games, he has scored three runs, with three home runs and eight RBI to boot, along with a .265 average and a .901 OPS. However, his defining moment came in Game 4 of the NLCS with the game on the line when he came up with a clutch, two-out RBI single to help the Diamondbacks complete the comeback in downing the Phillies 6-5 to tie the series at two games a piece. For just a rookie playing in his first ever MLB postseason, he definitely appears to be a big-game player already, something the Jays had been desperately looking for all these years but have now mistakenly given away.