With just one game left in the regular season, the Toronto Blue Jays have already punched their ticket to the postseason and can rest easy knowing that they'll once again have a shot at a deep run in October.
While most of the roster that they would carry into the Wild Card round seems pretty obvious, there's one player who could be a bit of a toss-up to make it. Cam Eden, who made his MLB debut on September 21st, has appeared in three games as a pinch runner but has yet to have a plate appearance. Despite this, the 25-year-old outfielder has a legitimate case to make the postseason roster, here's why.
Blue Jays Playoff Roster: the case for and against Cam Eden being included
To understand Eden's case for making the postseason lineup, you first need to understand Terrance Gore. Gore is a current free-agent outfielder, who over the course of eight seasons in MLB from 2014-2022, appeared in 112 regular season games but only has 85 career plate appearances. In the postseason, Gore is 0-2 with two strikeouts, which makes the fact that he has two World Series rings even more surprising. In six separate postseasons, teams have kept him on their playoff roster solely as a pinch runner, and while he never appeared in the World Series his teams won, it's clear that teams value having a player on their bench with some speed, and for the Blue Jays, Cam Eden represents just that.
This season, Eden stole a Buffalo Bisons record 53 bases while only being caught four times and clearly fills the Jays' role of a speed threat and on a postseason roster. If he were to make a potential Wild Card roster, he'd likely serve as the team's fourth outfielder, and in a three-game series, you may as well fill that role with someone who has a specific use, especially when infielders Cavan Biggio and Whit Merrifield can play in the outfield as well. He might not provide anything with his bat, but in the postseason where every run matters, and when you have guys like Brandon Belt and Alejandro Kirk who aren't necessarily the fastest, some speed on the bases could be huge.
While you can certainly make a case for Eden making the postseason roster, it might be even easier to make one against him. Not only does he have just one plate appearance in the Majors (that resulted in a strikeout), he also wasn't a great hitter in Triple-A. In 131 games and 460 plate appearances with the Bisons this season, he's slashing just .257/.354/.333 and in a tight postseason game, you might rather have a player who can provide some value with their bat. Even compared to a player like Santiago Espinal, who's been the team's worst hitter this season, he's shown that he can produce at an MLB level for stretches, there isn't really any reason to believe Eden could do much with his bat. While speed on the bases is certainly important in October, hits are ultimately what drive in runs, and a guy with a .257 average in Triple-A might not be the best use of a roster spot.
Cam Eden could be the most interesting player to look for when the Blue Jays' playoff roster is announced. What value he brings with his legs could immediately be negated if he's forced to take an at-bat, but if he's given a chance to make some plays on the bases, it could be well worth it.