Top 5 Blue Jays storylines to monitor this spring training

What are the things to keep an eye on for the Jays this spring?

Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays
Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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Infield position battles

In terms of the infield positions on the Jays, without a doubt the starters at shortstop and first base going into 2024 are Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., respectively. However, the starting second and third base gigs are pretty much up for grabs following the departures of Matt Chapman and Whit Merrifield. That leaves the frontrunners in Biggio, Espinal, and IKF to battle it out this spring to prove who can secure the everyday spots.

In any event, one of the three aforementioned players will likely get the short end of the stick here. Since last season, a similar situation arose when Biggio, Espinal and Merrifield fought for the starting second base job. In the end, Merrifield and Biggio got the bulk of the playing time while Espinal ended up seeing the bench more often than not. While the former two prospered, the latter struggled as a result, compiling the worst numbers of his career with a .248 average and .644 OPS along with 9 errors and -2 DRS in the field. With Biggio having a strong second half in 2023 where he hit .272 with a .765 OPS following the All-Star break, along with the speed and Gold Glove defence that Kiner-Falefa can provide, Espinal will have his work cut out for him if he wants to secure a starting spot for 2024.

To make matters worse, we already brought up the notion from before that Schneider could also be deployed at second base, along with Turner perhaps being used sparingly at second and third as well. The potential “traffic jam” that will be created at the two positions could further complicate things throughout the season.