Three former Blue Jays who are struggling on their new teams in 2023

Apr 14, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (12) tosses
Apr 14, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (12) tosses / Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

It is always difficult to part ways with a player, especially when they start to pick their game up right when they leave. However, these three former Blue Jays players have gotten off to a slow start with their new teams.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who was dealt by the Blue Jays alongside #1 prospect Gabriel Moreno for Daulton Varsho, has struggled so far in his tenure on the Diamondbacks. At the time of the trade, it seemed a little strange to part ways with Gurriel after Teoscar Hernández was already moved.

Gurriel brings consistency to a young Diamondbacks roster, having never posted an average of less than .276 in a season and no greater than .291. However, he has not been off to a hot start with his new club, posting a sub .300 on base percentage and a .684 OPS. But what is most notable is his one home run in 23 games. This suggests that the dip in power we saw in 2022 where he only hit five home runs in 121 games, may not have been as big of an outlier as first thought. 

Ross Stripling

Moving on, we have Ross Stripling. Following a successful 2022 campaign where he posted career bests in ERA at 3.01 and wins with 10, he had many suitors geared up to land him in free agency but it came down to the the Giants and Jays. In the end he signed with the Giants on a two-years $25M with the main reasons being their willingness to give him an opt out after the 2023 season.

Stripling obtained a spot in the Giants' starting rotation out of Spring Training, getting the ball for the club's third game of the season. However, after his first start where he went five innings and allowed four earned runs, he lost his rotation spot to Sean Manaea. Since then, he’s made one more start and three relief appearances, totaling nine runs (eight earned) allow earned runs in 10.2 innings.

Jordan Groshans

Lastly, we have former top prospect Jordan Groshans, who was dealt to the Marlins at the 2022 deadline for relievers Anthony Bass and Zach Pop. At the time of the trade, many speculated it was an overpay. Since he was a former 1st round draft pick and a highly regarded prospect at the time, he was expected to continue to perform in Miami. Instead, his stock has plummeted.

To start off the 2023 season, Groshans had a chance to crack the Opening Day roster, but he was derailed for a few weeks with a shoulder injury and headed to Triple-A to play on an everyday basis. This also put him in prime contention for a promotion if one of the Marlins regular infielders goes down with an injury. But so far this season, he has not found his groove and holds a .202 average and .575 OPS across 99 plate appearances. Prospects are always tricky to value and predict, but it seems as though Groshans has a long road ahead of him to try and regain his status as a future everyday player at the MLB level.