The Blue Jays need to give aging veteran a rest after abysmal start to the 2024 season

Toronto’s Center Fielder has been a shadow of his former self thus far.
Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

When the Blue Jays announced that they were re-signing Kevin Kiermaier in Dec. 2023, the majority of the fan base were excited to see him back. The four-time Gold Glove winner had a career year offensively batting .265, with eight home runs and 36 RBI in 129 games whilst battling injuries. Defensively he had 18 runs saved and 5 outfield assists, committing just 3 errors in 127 games in center.

Sadly for Kiermaier, his 2024 season has gotten off to a rough start. He is batting just .097 in 31 at-bats, with three hits, a pair of runs driven in and an OPS of just .273. He also only has two stolen bases. Yes, it is a small sample size, but these numbers aren’t exactly sparkling. Maybe the best case for the fan favorite is to take a few days off to work on his approach and come back to the lineup where he’s able to do more damage not just at the plate but on the base paths, too.

If Kevin Kiermaier sits, who fills in?

The solution if Kiermaier were to sit for a few days is simple. Daulton Varsho, one of the game's best outfield defenders, would move from left field to center field and Davis Schneider would get more playing time by moving over to left. The Blue Jays have won every game which Schneider has started this season whether that’s at second base or at left field and he’s arguably provided the Blue Jays' best moment of the season so far with a two-run home run on a hanging slider off of Astros closer Josh Hader back on Apr. 3. Schneider has started five games in left field this season in his debut season playing the position and he’ll get better the more he plays.

Varsho on the other hand, like Kiermaier, has struggled offensively to start the season. The 27-year-old is batting .158 with six hits in 38 at-bats with an OPS of .422 but his defensive skills are off the charts. In 2023, he led the major leagues with 23 Defensive Runs Saved (while playing left and center field) and was named as one of the finalists for a Gold Glove Award. It’s no secret that Varsho is an excellent outfielder and it’s clear he’s a suitable replacement for Kiermaier if the Jays decide provide the latter with a couple of days of well-needed rest.