Blue Jays: Jordan Romano gives new and improved outfield defense high praise

 Eric Treuden
Chicago Cubs v Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago Cubs v Toronto Blue Jays / Cole Burston/GettyImages
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Blue Jays super-closer Jordan Romano was one of the guest players that traveled with the club for this year's installment of the annual Winter Tour.

Romano, 29, has somewhat quietly emerged as one of the most dominant closers in today's game, thanks to a combined 2.03 record in 98 games with 179 strikeouts and just 13 home runs allowed in 141+ innings pitched over the past three seasons.

Gearing up for a fourth season as the main part of the back of the Blue Jays bullpen, Romano spoke with the media at the Winter Tour and had nothing but great things to say about the new and improved outfield defense that the Jays have assembled.

We've touched on this before on the site but it can't be said enough, the outfield defense for the Jays is going to be downright ridiculous in the upcoming campaign.

In left field, the club is going to turn to catcher-turned-outfielder Daulton Varsho, who has moved into a full-time role in the outfield and excelled. Varsho, 26, came over from the Diamondbacks in exchange for Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Gabriel Moreno.

Last year in Arizona, he ranked in the 99th percentile in Outs Above Average and was in the 97th percentile in Outfielder Jump. A move to the grass from behind the plate can't be easy but when a player is as agile as Varsho is, things go a bit smoother in the transition.

Then there's Kevin Kiermaier, one of the best defensive center fielder that the game has seen in this generation. Kiermaier, 32, has had (many) issues with injuries over the course of his 10-year big league career, but is entering this season healthy and for now, that's all that matters.

KK has put up a whopping 17.7 dWAR per Baseball-Reference and has three Gold Gloves under his belt as well as a Platinum Glove Award he won in 2015. Sure, his bat isn't always there, but the glove this guy comes with is the real deal.

The only face that is a returning member of the outfield is going to be George Springer, who the club has said will transition from center to right field to make room for Kiermaier on the roster.

Springer, 33, put up an incredible offensive season last year but saw his numbers dip a bit in center field, so a move to right will likely be for the better for him. He plays at an above-average clip in the outfield and will see his percentile rankings from 2022 go up across the board with a move out of center field.

Blue Jays pitchers are going to be in heaven this year with the new-look outfield defense behind them. Varsho and Kiermaier are two of the very best the game has to offer and Springer is a solid defender in his own right. He will look much better in right field than he did in center field last season.

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