Is the "revolving door" at second base sustainable for the Blue Jays?
By Edward Eng
Since each of their abilities are about the same, in that they all possess some speed, play good defense, and can provide decent production at the plate, it helps create competition among them, hence motivating each player to play to their best. There wouldn’t be a game where they won’t go all out because they could essentially be losing playing time if they falter.
In addition, with the player rotation, Jays' manager John Schneider can utilize the player he believes suits best for the game’s matchup. If he needs a lefty bat, Biggio can get the call. If he wants a righty bat with power, Merrifield it is. If he needs superior defence and a right-handed bat, Espinal can get the nod, as seen from his utilization in the Los Angeles Angels series. In the meantime, the player(s) being rested would stay fresh for the following game or a game in the future.
However, in the long term, having the constant change of players for that one position may become more detrimental to both the team and players themselves. From a psychological standpoint, having the feeling that you may be playing today, but you might not play again for another couple days, won’t set well for any player in the long run. Without the security of a starting job, the player may become frustrated and end up trying to do too much and overthink things to help enhance their chances to stay in the lineup. For instance, they may try for a game-changing home run swing, instead of just focusing on contact to get a run across, and end up striking out. Or they may try to stretch a single into a double and get thrown out. By doing so, they would be letting the team down more than helping them out.
In addition, not being able to play every day can affect any groove or momentum they may have gained to maintain consistent production. Say one of them goes 3-for-4 one day, and is feeling the right rhythm and timing at the plate, only to find themselves on the bench the next day. Then by the following day, they had lost some of that confidence built up already from their previous game. Baseball may be largely a game of skills, but what has been totally underrated is having a strong, confident mentality whenever coming up to the plate can also play a huge role on its outcome as well.