When Toronto Blue Jays’ third baseman Matt Chapman was put on the 10-day injured list on Monday, it presented a huge opportunity for someone to step up and play in his place for the coming weeks during this important time of the season. Luckily for the Blue Jays, they actually have quite a few options available to them that are presently with the ballclub right at this moment.
Looking over the potential options, could it finally be Santiago Espinal’s time? After all, he had seen limited playing time so far this season following an All-Star season just last year, so perhaps he may finally be able to regain his form with more game action. Or could it be the recently recalled Ernie Clement, who has been impressive all year for the Buffalo Bisons and has been holding his own so far with the big league club (six hits in 12 at-bats with two RBI and one stolen base)?
Well, when it comes to the absolute best option available, if the Jays haven’t realized it yet, it has to be none other than Davis Schneider. Although it occurred not too long ago, some people may have already forgotten about his impressive debut weekend against the Boston Red Sox back in early August when he went 9-for-13 with three runs scored, two home runs and five RBI for a .692 batting average and 1.887 OPS. This stellar type of performance had many media outlets coining his nickname “Babe” Schneider as a result.
Unfortunately, he would go on to struggle in his next few games, which was totally expected as opposing teams began to scout the phenom, along with looking at the videos to determine how to pitch effectively against him. As a result, an adjustment period was needed for Schneider to readapt his hitting approach at the plate and to counter the pitching adjustments made by opposing teams. However, he would be used only sparingly for almost a two-week period, making many people wonder what had happened to him and partially forgetting about his existence in the process.
However, just prior to Chapman’s injury on Sunday, Schneider was reinserted into the lineup on Saturday and provided the much-needed offensive spark for the ballclub, going 3-for-3 with a home run and three RBI. He would quickly follow that up with another impressive performance on Sunday, going 2-for-4 with a go-ahead, two-run homer in the 6th inning and scoring the game-tying run in the eighth, despite the Jays losing in a heart-breaker in the end and Chapman along with it. Nevertheless, it certainly appeared as though Schneider has regained his hitting touch after the adjustment period and was flourishing once again, leading the Jays’ offensive attack.
As a result, in the big picture, the Jays could always default to Espinal’s elite defence, but he would leave a lot to be desired in terms of offensive output. They can also go on a test run with Clement, but he hasn’t had enough MLB experience yet for the team to get a gauge on how well he can produce. But right now with the team in the thick of the tense playoff race, it might not be the best time to try things out. Or the Jays could make the obvious choice and go with the one that appears ready to lead the offensive charge on the team based on what everyone had already witnessed so far. In that case, it’s time for Schneider to shine and help lead the team to success down the stretch. If the Jays for whatever reason are still thinking about it, they should really just take a look below at what he did again on Tuesday.
Davis Schneider’s time is definitely now, and don’t look now, but the Jays probably have their 2023 version of Rance Mulliniks on their hands, and it would be total ignorance if they don’t give him all the opportunities to play and continue to do what he has been doing successfully so far in his career.